Series VPRS 17823
Infant Life Protection Register- Applications to Board Out Infants - State Ward and Non-Ward Infants
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1905 - 1972
  Series in Custody 1905 - 1972
  Contents 1905 - 1972
Public Access: Part Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1905 - 1961 Children's Welfare Department 1924-1961 (previously known as Department for Neglected Children 1887-1924), Chief Secretary's Department VA 1467
1961 - 1971 Social Welfare Branch, Chief Secretary's Department VA 2784
1971 - 1972 Social Welfare Department VA 946
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - cont Department of Health and Human Services VA 5037
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Refer to the list of records for this series.

    Each register has an alphabetical index of the Names of Applicants, with corresponding folio numbers, located at the front of each volume. Subsequent entries in the body of the volume are arranged numerically by application number.

  • Function / Content
    This series comprises of Infant Life Protection Registers - Applications to Board Out Infants which were maintained from 1905 until 1972, by the Neglected Children's Department (1887-1924), and the Children's Welfare Department (1924-1960), the Social Welfare Branch (1960-1971), and Social Welfare Department (1971-1979). The registers provide an index to applications received by the Department (usually from the birth mother or father) to board out infants to foster parents or nurses, without the birth parents losing guardianship of the child. The registers also record information around the placement of the child with a Registered Person in a Registered Home, and the details of payments to be made by the birth parents for upkeep of the child.


    The system of Boarding Out of Infants commenced in Victoria in 1874 with the passing of the Neglected and Criminal Children's Act. The system of Boarding Out had been proposed in response to the Royal Commission into Charitable Institutions, conducted in 1870, which advocated boarding out on the grounds of economy, as the charitable institutions could no longer cope with the numbers of children requiring care. Children not able to be cared for by their birth parents could be boarded out with a registered nurse or foster carer. In 1883 the Public Health Amendment Act made local health boards responsible for overseeing the registration of children placed in the homes of people other than their natural family. Inspection and regulation of these placements did not commence until 1887, with the passing of the Neglected Children's Act. This Act also introduced the requirement for parents to pay maintenance for the upkeep of the child.


    The Infant Life Protection Act 1890 introduced greater regulations and requirements to birth parents and to foster care providers in relation to the care and maintenance of the child, and requirements for registration of licensed premises. In 1907, the enacting of the Infant Life Protection Act transferred the administration of infant life protection measures to the Chief Secretary and the Department for Neglected Children, later known as the Children's Welfare Department in the Chief Secretary's Department. The passing of the Infant Life Protection Act 1907 (No.2102) was partly in response to concerns about 'baby farming'. The Act required parents to register voluntary foster placements with the Neglected Children's Department and pay for the upkeep of the child or risk the child becoming a ward of the state. An infant was defined in this Act as any child under five years of age. Under the Children's Maintenance Act 1919, mothers without sufficient means of support could apply to the Department for financial assistance toward the maintenance of their children, rather than have the children committed to the Department's care.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The registers are arranged chronologically by the date range covered.

    Each register has an alphabetical index of the Names of Applicants, with corresponding folio numbers, located at the front of each volume. Subsequent entries in the body of the volume are arranged numerically by application number.


    Ruled columns record information for each entry including: Name and Address of Applicant; Name of Infant; Date of Birth; Religion; Name and Address of Registered Persons (ie: nurse or foster parent) [refer to VPRS 4978 Children's Welfare Department - Registered Persons and Homes Register]; Name and Address of Infant's Mother; Occupation; and Remarks regarding payments per week, or noting the child's committal to state wardship when birth parents defaulted on payments, or noting if the child had been adopted.


    The volumes commence with application number one in Volume one, and application numbers continue across subsequent volumes.


    It appears that the applications received by the Children's Welfare Department are filed in VPRS 10094 Infant Life Protection File (P- 1939 to 1960).

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1939 - 1960 Infant Life Protection File VPRS 10094
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1905 - 1972 Part Open 8
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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