Warning about distressing information
This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience.Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria.
If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.
List of records held by the department
For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide to Central department wardship and out-of-home care records. These collections date back to the 1860s and include ward registers, index cards and ward files.
Child Record Cards (Boys’ and Girls’ Depots, Royal Park, Turana Reception Centre and Allambie Reception Centre) (c.1950–87)
Card ; Permanent VPRS Numbers: 17896/P0001 (1950–c.1970) ; 17896/P0002 (c.1956–87)
Content: These cards record biographical, admission and movement details for each child admitted to the Boys’ and Girls’ Depots, Royal Park, the Turana Reception Centre and the Allambie Reception Centre.
Turana Reception Centre was located on exactly the same location as the Boys’ and Girls’ Depots at Royal Park, and very likely incorporated the index cards from the earlier depot into its own child card system. It is assumed that when Allambie Reception Centre opened, this combined card system was transferred over to Allambie as a whole collection.
These index cards provide the most complete admission and discharge details available for children received into Royal Park / Turana and Allambie after basic details were also recorded in the admission register.
The front of each card records the child's name, date of birth, religion, date and reason for admission, sibling names and dates of birth, parents’ names and place of residence, medical details in some instances, whether the child was admitted to the care of the department, and reason for discharge.
The back of the card records movements from the centre including holidays, trial leave and discharge. In cases where the child's name was unknown, a simple term such as ‘baby boy’ or a first name would be used.
The cards for the Boys’ and Girls’ Depots, Royal Park, also include personal documents relating to the children such as correspondence, certificates, immunisation information. These documents were located together with the respective cards for each child.
Please note that VPRS 17904 / P0001 – P0003 also holds Turana Reception Centre child index cards and is a related collection.
Children’s Court child case history files (1933–64)
File ; Unappraised
Content: A file was created for each child that was assessed by the Children’s Court Clinic.
The records are attributed to the Boys’ and Girls’ Depots, Royal Park, but the files in most cases do not refer to the child being on remand at Royal Park.
As most of the files were created prior to the establishment of large government reception and youth training centres, such as Turana and Winlaton, the major remand facility for children awaiting a court appearance was at Royal Park.
All the enclosures relate to the function of the Children’s Court Clinic, that was to assess each child brought before the court and make recommendations for their future care and education. Prior to the large government institutions, the children were sent to private homes such as St Augustine’s in Geelong.
The files represent extensive case histories that were compiled by social workers and psychologists and other case workers who assessed the children.
The detailed case histories contain the social workers’ transcripts of interviews with the child and their extended family, the clinic psychologist’s reports, physical examination and medical report.
The files include the results of a range of tests the child undertook to check their level of literacy, numeracy, non-verbal ability, IQ and inkblot method.
The file enclosures include:
- social report
- transcripts of interviews including the child and their extended families
- psychological examination summary form
- physical examination form
- medical report
- literacy and numeracy tests
- Rorschach inkblot method or Rorschach psycho diagnostics
- psychiatric notes
- psychological report
- hand-written case notes
- Information from CWD [Community Welfare Department] file
- departmental correspondence.
The file contents have been placed in manila folders and are separate to the central departmental case management system.
The file contents do not include ward of state numbers that indicates these records were compiled prior to the child being legally brought under the custody of the government. The file covers have been appended with what seems to be a Children’s Court case numbering system.
Neglected Children’s Depot Visiting Committee outgoing and incoming correspondence (1921)
Content: This single file consists of correspondence transactions of the Neglected Children’s Depot Visiting Committee from 19 January to 12 December 1921.
The collection mainly comprises the outgoing correspondence from the Acting Correspondent of the committee (probably the official position of secretary), Mr CE Ogden.
The file includes some incoming correspondence to the committee from within the department, sections of government members of the committee, including:
- medical superintendent of Royal Park
- Chief Secretary’s Office
- Premier’s Office
- Department for Children’s and Reformatory Schools
- Lunacy Department
- State Government House
- private businesses of members of the committee.
The file enclosures contain also a few examples of draft documents from the committee: including a couple of copies of minutes of meetings reports.
Reviewed 24 April 2019