Children's Welfare Association (1912 - 2003)


  • Auspice: Non-government community organisation
  • Name: Children’s Welfare Association of Victoria (1912–2003)
  • Other names: Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (2003–current)Child Saving Council (1910–12)
  • Address: Melbourne

Children’s Welfare Association history in brief

In 1910, a group of 'child savers' came together to establish the Child Saving Council. In 1912, it changed its name to the Children's Welfare Association of Victoria (CWAV). CWAV was a peak body that aimed to promote the work of child welfare organisations and facilitate inter-agency communication.

CWAV became the coordinating body of non-government child welfare agencies in Victoria. It represented more than 80 community organisations delivering child and family support and welfare services. CWAV held conferences, produced publications and conducted research projects.  

In 2003, CWAV became the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, which is the peak body for community service organisations in the child, youth and family services sector of Victoria. It is located in Melbourne.  

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.


 Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see Find & Connect


  •  FIND & CONNECT History and information about Australian orphanages, children’s homes and other institutions, website:

  • Children's Welfare Association of Victoria 63rd annual report 1978–79, taken from The Australian Women’s Register: an initiative of the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne.

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.

Departmental administration

Voluntary children's home  (c.1930–c.1985)

File;  Permanent VPRS Number 18069/P0001

Content: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government. This filing system was created in 1975, combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with VH prefixes.
The specific file relating to Children’s Welfare Association dates from 1973–85, and includes:

  • annual reports, 1973–74 to 1989–80
  • newsletter, Hops steps and jumps, 1975–76
  • photocopied journal articles, 1972–73
  • press clippings, 1974
  • Children’s Welfare Association offering the department assistance to review the standards for operation of children’s homes, 1973
  • annual report of Family Welfare Advisory Council, 1974
  • seminar papers, finance planning and priority in welfare planning, 1974
  • log of clams regarding child care workers’ wages board, 1974
  • lists of government funding to children’s homes, 1974
  • Children’s Welfare Association Report on standards of Children’s Homes, 1974 
  • statistics, including children’s homes opened and closed, 1974
  • reports on allocation of funds to the association, 1975
  • correspondence with the department relating to funding of residential facilities, and lobbying for the survival of facilities, 1973–85
  • Victorian Welfare Priorities 1980–81, a submission from the Victorian Children’s Welfare Association to the Victoria Government, 1980
  • submission to the Victorian Government on welfare priorities, 1982–83
  • submission to the Victorian Government on welfare priorities, 1984–85
  • deputation to the minister, 1985
  • correspondence on family group homes, 1982
  • correspondence with the department regarding the equity in properties with regard to grants made to agencies, 1985.

Reviewed 25 August 2016