They’re Just Doing It for the Money

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


In this chapter, Musgrove and Michell ask who has undertaken the work of being foster carers over the 150 years, or so, that statutory foster care has been part of Australian child welfare systems, and what has motivated them to do it? The chapter examines changing attitudes towards payments for foster carers, and argues that even in the nineteenth century, when the notion that foster carers might make a modest profit from the work was not especially controversial, foster care was still not generally understood purely as a financial transaction. The final part of the chapter draws on oral history interviews to examine the experiences and motivations of foster carers from the 1960s onwards, and their view is clear: it is not about the money.


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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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