Children Act 1908

The 1908 Children's Act, also known as the Children and Young Persons Act 1908, part of the Children's Charter was a piece of government legislation passed by the Liberal government, as part of the British Liberal Party's liberal reforms package. The Act was informally known as the Children's Charter and surrounded controversy. It largely superseded the Industrial Schools Act 1868.

Children and Young Persons Act 1908
Long titleAn Act to consolidate and amend the Law relating to the Protection of Children and Young Persons, Reformatory and Industrial Schools, and Juvenile Offenders, and otherwise to amend the Law with respect to Children and Young Persons.
Citation1908 c. 67
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted

It established juvenile courts[1] and introduced the registration of foster parents, thus regulating baby-farming and wet-nursing and trying to stamp out infanticide. Local authorities were also granted powers to keep poor children out of the poorhouse/workhouse and protect them from abuse. The act also prevented children working in dangerous trades and prevented them from purchasing cigarettes and entering pubs. The act also prevented children from learning criminal "tricks of the trade" in adult prisons, where children were often sent to serve time if a crime had been committed. Instead the Children's Charter had allocated Borstals. It eventually led to many councils setting up social services and orphanages.


  1. ^ "1908 Children's Act was created to protect the poorest children in society from abuse". Intriguing History. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2015.

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