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© 2018

The Slow Evolution of Foster Care in Australia

Just Like a Family?

Book

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
    Pages 1-24
  3. Looking for the ‘Care’ in Foster Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 27-50
    3. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 51-86
    4. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 87-126
    5. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 127-155
  4. Shaping the Lives of the Invisible Children of the State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 157-157
    2. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 159-195
    3. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 197-219
    4. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 221-257
    5. Nell Musgrove, Deidre Michell
      Pages 259-292
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 307-314

About this book

Introduction

This book draws on archival, oral history and public policy sources to tell a history of foster care in Australia from the nineteenth century to the present day. It is, primarily, a social history which places the voices of people directly touched by foster care at the centre of the story, but also within the wider social and political debates which have shaped foster care across more than a century. The book confronts foster care’s difficult past—death and abuse of foster children, family separation, and a general public apathy towards these issues—but it also acknowledges the resilience of people who have survived a childhood in foster care, and the challenges faced by those who have worked hard to provide good foster homes and to make child welfare systems better. These are themes which the book examines from an Australian perspective, but which often resonate with foster care globally.  

Keywords

child welfare historical abuse out-of-home care social policy welfare history

Authors and affiliations

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

About the authors

Nell Musgrove is Senior Lecturer in History at the Australian Catholic University. Her research examines the history of child welfare in Australia, and her previous book, The Scars Remain (2013), examines the main alternative to foster care in Australian out of home care history: institutions.

Deidre Michell is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Gender Studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She has previously published Against the Odds (2015), and her research explores the lived experience of the marginalised, such as Australian citizens who have been in state care and gone to university.  

Bibliographic information

Reviews

 “The Slow Evolution of Foster Care in Australia covers the period from the advent of regulated foster care in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. … The Slow Evolution of Foster Care in Australia should be required reading for everyone involved in the field of child welfare, for the salutary lessons it provides from both the past and, lamentably, the present.” (Jacqueline Z. Wilson, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 50 (1), 2019)