Agency VA 2784
Social Welfare Branch, Chief Secretary's Department
About this Agency Records Related Functions Related Agencies
Date Range: 1960 - 1971
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency

The Social Welfare Branch was established within the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) under the provisions the Social Welfare Act 1960 (No.6651) which was proclaimed in stages between 6 July 1960 and 21 June 1961. 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 within the Chief Secretary's Department and arose from a recognition of the need to concentrate on the prevention rather than the mere alleviation of social problems. All functions of the former Children's Welfare Department and Penal and Gaols Branch were assumed by the Social Welfare Branch.

The Branch was administered by a Director-General of Social Welfare who was accountable to the Chief Secretary. Within the Branch, six divisions were established reflecting the new approach of the Government to social problems.

Family Welfare Division

Prior to the establishment of this Division emphasis had mostly been placed on child behaviour rather than on parental neglect. The establishment of this Division acknowledged the dynamics of child/parent relationships and the need for preservation of the family unit. Its major functions were:

promotion and development of family welfare
co-ordination of voluntary organizations, government departments and persons concerned with the provision of welfare services for families
control and supervision of children and young persons in need of care and protection, including foster care, adoption, wardship, infant life protection, child employment and child migrants
management and control of state institutions for the reception and treatment of children and young persons including children's homes and reception centres
provision of aftercare for children and young persons
family counselling
family assistance (financial)

Youth Welfare Division

The establishment of this Division effectively separated the provision of services to delinquents from services directed at children requiring care and protection and hence acknowledged their different needs. The major functions of this Division were:

administration of youth training centres and remand centres for young offenders
classification of young offenders
treatment and rehabilitation of young offenders
after care of young offenders including accommodation in hostels and employment services
prevention of delinquency through youth work/services programs

Prisons Division

Section 16 of the Social Welfare Act 1960 established the Prisons Divisions with two main functions:

to control and supervise all persons imprisoned or detained in any gaol
to assist in the rehabilitation into the community of all persons released or discharged from any gaol.

Prior to the establishment of this division, the control of all prison services had been the responsibility of the Penal and Gaols Branch of the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 1464). The Penal and Gaols Branch had also been responsible for the provision of probation and parole services, however responsibility for these services was assumed by a Probation and Parole Division.

Under the Act, the Prisons Division was administered by a Director of Prisons accountable to the Director General of Social Welfare, who in turn reported to the Minister. The Division was responsible for the accommodation of prisoners, prisoner classification and the provision of prisoner support services such as education and prison industries.

For further information about the administration of prisons and correctional services, see VRG 9 Prisons and Youth Training Centres and VRG 93 Corrections.

Probation and Parole Division

The administration of adult and youth probation and parole services in conjunction with the Adult Parole Board and the Youth Parole Board and the co-ordination of Children's Court probation services were the major responsibilities of this Division. Responsibility for the Children's Court probation services was inherited from the Law Department (VA 2825) in 1960.

Research and Statistics Division

The compilation of statistics and information regarding the Branch and related matters and the encouragement of research into social problems were the major functions of this Division.

Training Division

This Division was required to plan, supervise and co-ordinate the development of training for prison, childcare, youth and family welfare workers and to supervise the training of children, youths and adults in institutions controlled by the Branch.

Establishment of the Social Welfare Department

Under the provisions of the Social Welfare Act 1970 (No.8089) a Minister for Social Welfare was appointed in 1970 and subsequently, in 1971, a Department of State known as the Social Welfare Department (VA 946) was established and assumed responsibility for all functions previously administered by the Social Welfare Branch.

Location of Records

For records of the Social Welfare Branch see list below and the List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.5.1. (Department of Community Services). Researchers are also advised to consult sections 3.4.7. (Prisons Division) 3.4.8. (Adult Parole Board), 3.5.6 (Youth Parole Board) 8.0.0. (Health and Welfare Agencies) and 13.0.0. (Prisons and Youth Training Centres).

See also VRG 9 Prisons and Youth Training Centres and VRG 8 Health and Welfare Agencies for the records of individual institutions.

More Research resourcesMore Research resources
    PROVguide060 Adoption, Wardship and Related Records
Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
Displaying 1 to 20 of 40  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 2 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1893 - ? 2004 Ward Term Expiry Books (also known as Ward Birthday Books) VPRS 17880 North Melbourne Part Open
? 1906 - 1980 De Facto Adoption Register VPRS 17822 North Melbourne Closed
? 1910 - 1986 Index to Parents of Wards VPRS 17879 North Melbourne Closed
? 1925 - 1970 Street Trading Board Minute Book VPRS 18192 North Melbourne Open
? 1947 - ? 1989 Child Migration Files VPRS 10092 North Melbourne Closed
? 1950 - ? 1977 Maintenance Collection Branch Case Files VPRS 10070 North Melbourne Closed
? 1951 - 1998 Residential Institutions, Building Records, Site Maps and Plans VPRS 17986 North Melbourne Open
? 1963 - ? 1965 Stamp Book (DESTROYED) VPRS 10944 Other Not Applicable
1856 - 1972 Visiting Justice's Charge Sheets and Reports VPRS 10114 North Melbourne Part Open
1864 - Circa 1966 Index Books to Ward Register VPRS 6757 North Melbourne Part Open
1905 - 1972 Infant Life Protection Register- Applications to Board Out Infants - State Ward and Non-Ward Infants VPRS 17823 North Melbourne Part Open
1908 - ? 1964 Registered Persons Homes Register VPRS 4978 North Melbourne Closed
1920 - 1984 Register of Ward Deaths VPRS 18194 North Melbourne Closed
1929 - 1976 State Ward and Non Ward Adoption Register VPRS 17830 North Melbourne Closed
1939 - ? 1970 Index to VPRS 17833 Ward Adoption Register - Placed with a view to Adoption (PVA) VPRS 17852 North Melbourne Closed
1939 - 1992 Ward Adoption Register - Placed with a view to Adoption (PVA) VPRS 17833 North Melbourne Closed
1948 - 1985 Male Prisoner Index Cards VPRS 11765 North Melbourne Closed
1952 - 1993 Adoptions & Permanent Care Unit - Various Registers VPRS 18027 North Melbourne Closed
1956 - 1985 Male Prisoner Registration Cards (Annual Single Number Series), See VPRS 11510 VPRS 11509 North Melbourne Not Applicable
1958 - 1974 Register of Applications, Section 20 (Admissions of Children to the Care of the Department) VPRS 18195 North Melbourne Closed
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
Display entries per page
Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1960 - 1971 Probation and parole services (youth) VF 93
1960 - 1971 Probation and parole services (adult) VF 190
1960 - 1971 Prisons and youth training centres VF 13
1961 - 1971 Employment of children VF 267
1961 - 1971 Child maintenance (financial allowances for) VF 424
1961 - 1971 Juvenile delinquents, detention and welfare of VF 450
1961 - cont Child migrant welfare VF 425
- 1971 Welfare services (pre-school children) VF 251
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
Display entries per page
Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
Display entries per page
Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1960 - 1971 Chief Secretary's Department VA 475
Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
Display entries per page
Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1960 - 1971 McLeod Training Centre [also known as French Island Reformatory Prison; McLeod Prison Farm] VA 2682
1960 - 1971 Winlaton Youth Training Centre (formerly Winlaton Juvenile School 1956-1962) VA 5093
1960 - 1971 Lutheran Children's Home (also known as Lutheran Peace Memorial Children's Home) VA 5098
1960 - 1971 His Majesty's Gaol, Pentridge (known as Pentridge Prison) VA 863
1960 - 1971 Fairlea Female Prison VA 926
1960 - 1971 Turana Youth Training Centre (previously known as Turana Reception Centre 1955-1968; Turana Juvenile School 1957-1962) VA 971
1960 - 1971 Sale Prison [also known as Sale Gaol] VA 982
1961 - 1971 Her Majesty's Prison, Morwell River (known as Morwell River Reforestation Prison 1961 - 1997) VA 4105
1961 - 1971 Hillside Boys Home VA 5102
1962 - 1971 The Gables VA 5099
1965 - 1971 Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre (previously known as Malmsbury Youth Training Centre 1965-1993; Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre 1993-2007) (Education Centre No.4958) ) VA 3960
1966 - 1971 Ashendene Boys' Home VA 5100
Related AgenciesRelated Agencies
Display entries per page
Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
Groups containing this AgencyGroups containing this Agency
Display entries per page
Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1960 - 1971 Chief Secretary VRG 26