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Foster Care—Philosophies, Rhetoric and Practices

  • Nell Musgrove
  • Deidre Michell
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)

Abstract

In this chapter, Musgrove and Michell examine the philosophical and ideological motivations for implementing foster care as the core method of providing for children within Australian child welfare systems from around the 1870s, arguing for the importance of understanding this period in a transnational context. The chapter goes on to show how welfare authorities’ assessments of families as ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ could determine whether or not parents were separated from their children, and demonstrates that assessments of character profoundly shaped people’s journeys through the system well into the twentieth century. The chapter extends this discussion of ‘character’ to its consequence: stigma. In discussing stigma, the chapter exposes the way child welfare systems criminalised and stigmatised children, demonstrating the huge toll this took on people’s lives.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityFitzroyAustralia
  2. 2.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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