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The development of social services in Tasmania.

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Brown, Joan C (1969) The development of social services in Tasmania. Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

In the early days of the Colony, the Lieutenant-Governors
inevitably took a paternal role, providing for the needs not
only of the convicts who were their prime responsibility, but
also for settlers in difficulty. Under Arthur this continued
and Van Diemen's Land did not follow the example of New South
Wales in subsidising voluntary agencies to enable them to take
the lead in providing social services. Arthur expanded the
services providing hospitals for the sick and the mentally
depots for the aged and infirm, orphan schools for the orphan
and destitute child and made separate arrangements for boy
convicts. Some voluntary activity was evident principally in
the relief field, but it received no assistance from the government
and inadequate support from the colonists and so made
little headway.
The three succeeding Lieutenant-Governors, Franklin,
Eardley-Willmot and Denison faced with serious budgetary
problems, endeavoured to cut back services for the free poor
and resorted to a number of expedients both major and petty to
reduce overall costs and to limit the expansion of the services.
Voluntary agencies were encouraged verbally but given no
subsidy and though more was achieved in this period than under
Arthur, the agencies' financial difficulties and lack of public
support severely limited the scope of operations. As transportation
ended and independence drew near the Imperial Government
allowed the services to run down so that at the point of handover to the Colonial government, all were in poor shape.
The newly independent government began with enthusiasm
to refurbish the social services but before long complaints of
excessive expenditure on the poor forced a halt and for the
remainder of the century the policy was economy at all costs.
The pressure of demand for services and public criticism forced
the continued expansion and improvement of the services and in
spite of government apathy and reluctance to provide adequate
finance, much was achieved. A significant part was played by
a small group of public servants in securing changes in policy
to meet changing needs. Every encouragement was given to
voluntary agencies to establish themselves, including regular
subsidies, the use of old Imperial buildings and grants for
.special purposes. The agencies began to assume responsibility
for some sectors of the social services but lack of adequate
local support limited their work to a comparatively subordinate
role. A marked increase in voluntary activity in the last ten
years of the century while strengthening and widening their
sphere of work nevertheless left the state in the dominant
position which it had occupied in the social services throughout
the century.
The study considers the reasons for this pattern of development
and also traces through the century the influence of ideas
about poverty, of attitudes to the poor and of the impact of the
penal system and its aftermath on the social services in
Tasmania.

Item Type: Thesis (Unspecified)
Keywords: Social service
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1969 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania, 1969. Bibliography: l. 282-292

Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 00:41
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:56
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