Introduction: There Is No Typical Story of Foster Care

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


In this introductory chapter, Musgrove and Michell provide a critical reflection on the intersections between histories of foster care and contemporary social debates. Why, the chapter asks, has foster care failed children in such similar ways for so many years—not only in Australia but in many parts of the Western World? The chapter locates the study of foster care firmly in the age of apologies and inquiries into past child welfare practices and rising public concern about historical child abuse. It provides an overview of the history of foster care in Australia from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, and describes the archival and oral history research methodologies underwriting this history of foster care in Australia.


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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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