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Sunday 25th April 2021

11.00 am

Holy Communion in the Church

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Heritage Archives

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Parish Magazine

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Boarded Out Children


Boarding out was the practice of placing workhouse children in long-term care of foster parents who usually received a weekly allowance for each child staying with them.

 After a trial period in 1868, the Boarding Out Order of 1870 set out a formal framework.  This framework included that a Boarding-Out Committee was to formed in each union to supervise the boarding-out arrangement such as only orphans and deserted children to be boarded out, the foster parents must be of the same religion as the child, the weekly maintenance fee would not exceed four shillings a week and the foster parents must sign an undertaking to “bring up the child as one of their own children.”

 By the end of the nineteenth century around half the unions in England and Wales were using boarding out with around 8,000 orphaned or deserted children placed in homes.

 Wickham Market Workhouse Union was one of these unions.  They placed and supervised the fostering of 30 to 40 children in Wickham Market, Campsea Ashe, Tunstall and Little Glemham from around 1898 to 9011.

 It must have been difficult for these children, many who had suffered from neglect, to settle into their new foster homes.  It must have been strange to go from the streets of London to the green countryside of sleepy Suffolk.  One can only guess what they thought about it. 

Read the story of the Boarded Out Children by clicking here