Client Case Files, Youth Welfare Division (Social Welfare Branch 1961 - 1971; Social Welfare Department 1971 - 1978)
||1961 - 1978
||Series in Custody
||1961 - 1978
||1947 - 1978
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|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
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- Function / Content
This series was created by the Youth Welfare Division (YWD) of, initially, the Social Welfare Branch between 1961-1971, and then, the Social Welfare Department between 1971 - 1978. The Social Welfare Branch and the Social Welfare Department, both operated within the Chief Secretary's Department. The formation of the Branch represented a linking of the administration of the Children's Welfare Department (VA 1467) and the Penal and Goals Branch (VA 1464) both of which also existed within the Chief Secretary's Department.
Broadly speaking, this series documents children aged up to 15 years of age who were brought into the care of the Division (i.e made wards) under either protective or juvenile justice orders made by the courts.
Children subject to protective orders were either placed in the community either with foster parents or in private, usually religiously run, institutions. These files document the placement of the child into care and the Division's administration of the children's placements.
Children subject to protective orders were usually placed in youth training centres and remand centres for young children. These files document the children's placement into the care of the Division, their classification as young offenders, placement in the various centres, treatment and rehabilitation and after care including accommodation in hostels and employment services.
Children under the age of 15 receiving court orders were the responsibility of the Family Welfare Division (FWD). Files for the children managed by this Division were created within VPRS 10071 until 1978.
A young person could be placed into the care of the YWD under the following circumstances:
- On receiving a protective court order issued by the Children's court where the young person was of 15 years of age,
- Children transferred from the FWD on turning 15,
- Young persons (17 to 21 years) received detention order to Youth Training Centre (YTC) from an Adult Court and Children's Court detention order if under 17 years of age,
- Children or young persons who received a prison sentence and were directed to serve their early sentence in an YTC.
In 1978, the Family and Adolescent Services Division superseded the FWD and the YWD, absorbing their functions, reuniting child and youth administration within the one Division. Refer to VPRS 16749, Client Files, Family and Adolescent Services Division, Single Number System.
- Recordkeeping System
The YWD client case history files were registered under an alpha-annual single number system utilising a block number allocation. The file numbers were issued sequentially, reflecting the admission of the client to the Division. An alpha prefix (either 'A' or 'B' ) was used to established whether the admission occurred in the first or second half of that financial year.
For example, the hypothetical number B65.3010, means that the child was admitted during the second half of the financial year 1 July 1964 to 30 June 1965 .
The numerical portion of the file number (in the hypothetical example above 3010) was allocated from a block of numbers that were used to identify the different types of children admitted into the care of the Division. Thus, file numbers allocated a number between:
- 1 to 999 identified children brought directly into the Division's care
- 1000 to 1999 identified children transferred into it from the Family Welfare Division
- 2000 to 2999 identified children admitted into the Division's care from adult courts to Youth Training Centres (juvenile corrective services clients)
- 3000 to 3999 identified children transferred into the Division's care from the Prisons Division,
- 4000 to 4999 identified transfers of guardianship children from interstate, and
- from 7000 identified Commonwealth protection cases administered by the State.
Not every number within these blocks will have been allocated after a particular number in each year. These should not be interpreted as meaning the files are missing, rather that these were never used.
Gaps will exist, however, within the block numbers that were allocated within any given year. Where this occurs, this should be interpreted as meaning that the child was transferred into the Family and Adolescent Services Division during 1978 and their file was incorporated into and allocated a new file number from the filing system operated by that Division. Refer to the subsequent series, VPRS 16749.
File numbers appearred to have been allocated from a sequence of cards which may have also operated as an index. These index cards also recorded a brief history of the child time under care in summary form. he cards have been intersorted along with cards from other ward file series created from the same period as this series and afterwards - refer to VPRS 16205.
The Youth Parole Board (YAP) integrated its filing system with the YWD. Within an YWD files there would be an YPB file where the client was given a parole, (original pink or blue/green coloured files.
A Trainee Information File was also created by Youth Training Centres for the purpose of keeping a day to day information on the client, such as court appearances, personal and psychological histories. They were occasionally sent to the YWD and interfiled with the client file in this series. However, this was not a regular practice.
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