This series comprises annual reports which provide an analysis of statistics and services provided during a particular year. Details include birth rates, number of centres, attendances at centres, mobile vans, rail car, mothercraft homes, ante-natal clinics, toddlers/preschool services, correspondence section, social service/home visiting, Royal Flying Doctor Service, mothercraft/parentcraft school lectures, publications, opening of new centres, epidemics and maternal and infant mortality rates.
The reports were prepared by the Director of Infant Welfare (Dr Alfred Jefferis-Turner 1926 - 1937) addressed to the Assistant Under Secretary, Home Secretary's Department, thereafter from 1934 to the Director-General of Health & Medical Services. In 1939, the department name changed from "Infant Welfare" and "Baby Clinics" to "Maternal and Child Welfare". Dr Thomas Reeve Mathewson superseded Dr Jefferis-Turner as part time Director in 1938 and assumed full responsibility in 1941. Dr H C Murphy succeeded Dr Mathewson in 1948 until June 1968. Dr Jean McFarlane succeeded Dr Murphy as Director. The Section of Maternal & Child Welfare became the Division of Maternal and Child Welfare in 1949/1950.
During 1974/75 the name changed from Child Welfare to Division of Maternal and Child Health. In October 1982, Maternal & Child Health and School Health Services were united as a Division of Child Health and Dr McFarlane, formerly Director of Maternal & Child Health was appointed Director in December 1983. Dr A Clements took up the appointment of Director of Child Health in December 1985 after Dr V O'Hara acted in the position temporarily.
On 1 July 1991 the public sector health services were regionalised and rationalised, and Queensland Health's Central Office was restructured in line with the Public Sector Management Commission's recommendations. This resulted in the abolition of the Health Department, Child Health Division on 30 June 1991. The functions formerly performed by the Division were devolved into 13 regions throughout Queensland.
Also included in this series are the Annual Reports on the Health & Medical Services of the State of Queensland 1943-44 and 1944-45 which included the Section of Maternal & Child Welfare.
Following are some details relating to Maternal and Child Welfare services:
- The first Maternal & Child Centre (Baby Clinic) was opened in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley on the 18 March 1918 by Mrs T J Ryan, wife of the Premier, followed by three clinics at West End, Woolloongabba and Spring Hill also in 1918.
- In 1929 ante-natal clinics commenced in the baby clinic buildings in Fortitude Valley and Woolloongabba and later expanded to other clinics.
- The Mothercraft training school at St Paul's Terrace was established in October 1924 and provided training in child health for registered nurses who had their general nursing and obstetrics/midwifery certificates.
- The Infant Welfare Railway Car service [Rail Car] which commenced in February 1929, was handed over to the Department in 1930 and provided nursing advice and treatment to infants and expectant mothers in remote areas of Queensland. It travelled all over the state, main coastal line and all branch lines without a fixed itinerary. In 1939 it commenced a regular itinerary with headquarters in Hughenden. In December 1982, the 1917 rail car was withdrawn from service as the area could be serviced by motor car and donated to the Railway Historical Society.
- Mothercraft homes were resident homes which provided accommodation for mothers and babies. Babies were admitted for special care and feeding management. The St Paul's Terrace Home was opened in 1943 and the second Mothercraft home at Clayfield shortly afterwards. This home provided a 12 month course for teenage girls for a certificate as a child welfare assistant. The training facilities for child welfare assistants were extended with the opening of the Toowoomba "Unara" Home in 1947 [until May 1977] and the Jefferis-Turner Home in Ipswich and Rockhampton Home in 1952. A special home for the care of children up to 12 years of age while their mother was in hospital was opened at Sandgate in March 1944 closing down in 1982/83. In 1972 the Clayfield Mothercraft Home opened to replace the original home opened in 1943.
- A School Mothercraft lecturing programme commenced in 1942. Miss Micheli who had commenced the school lecturing service in 1936 on behalf of the Mothercraft Association was attached to the Department to continue teaching as the Association could not longer afford the service. Teenage girls were taught the basic principles of infant care, diet and hygiene.
- The first Toddlers' Clinic was opened at Rosalie in 1943 with expansions in other areas occurring in later years. Children were examined in order to detect and treat abnormalities before they commenced school.
- In 1940 a correspondence service (later Information and Advisory Service) was established in country areas for mothers who could receive written answers to their queries.
- In the 1940's the Social Service Section was introduced and nursing staff utilised vehicles to visit mothers at home and in hospitals to offer advice and provide Health education pamphlets on immunisation etc.
- The first Mobile Clinic Service visiting outlying suburbs in the Brisbane Metropolitan area began in 1964 and a second mobile van service commenced in1968.
- In 1968, a sister with the Mt Isa Centre commenced flying with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to advise mothers in the outback and visit mothers at Aboriginal Reserves. The Townsville and Charleville Centres followed suit in 1969.
- A new administration headquarters, mothercraft home and training centre were opened at 184 St Paul's Terrace in November 1977. The first stage was completed in 1975.