chapter  2
Historical themes in child welfare
The emergence of early child welfare structures
ByNick Frost
Pages 13

This chapter explores an historical perspective or themes on the emergence of global child welfare systems. The Thomas Coram Foundling Hospital is often identified as an early English child welfare institution where care was provided for children separated from family or community. The mid-period of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of child welfare organizations in England many of which are still with day– albeit with different names. From 1619 until the early 1960s the flow of children was in the other direction – the world's leading industrial and colonial power, Great Britain, was transporting its own children overseas: they were unaccompanied and separated from their birth families. The philanthropic child welfare bodies we have explored that tended to emerge in the nineteenth century changed and evolved during the twentieth century. The most notable change in modern Western societies was the growth of child welfare provision – models varied across the world, from Universalist to more selective service provision.