The early stages were characterized with the absence of the legislation and the child welfare services. Until the passing of Orphan’s Act of 1799 and the Ontario Municipal Act of 1849 that offered a helping hand for abandoned children by creating opportunities for apprenticeship. The legal acts incorporated societal norms of a work ethic that gave legal recognition only to those children who could be bound into apprenticeship.
The break through was during the late 181 after passing of the Apprentices and Minors Act, resulted to formation of the local government to provide care for the needy non-apprenticed children. These models continued to prevail until end of the 19th century, (Cameron, 2007) when the middle class saw the need to have establishment and creation of the nurturing environments for children. While the harsh practices for upbringing children received criticism, viable options to apprenticeship were introduced for dependent children; adoptions and institutional care that resulted to long-term child care.
The next turn of event was the formulation of the Charity Aid Act of 1874 that was geared towards regulation of charitable groups and organizations under supervision of the government and prevents the severe abuse of children in apprenticeship positions. While the local schools trustees were conferred power upon to create and establish educational and residential institutions for unwanted children by Industrial Schools Act of 1874 to the children’s protection act of 1888 proved to be worthy. These sequential acts inBritish Columbia province significantly increased reflected by the statistics. For instance number of children doubled from 4,400 to 8,900 between 1891 and 1896, which further increased from 10,419 to 15,792; (see table1) during the period of 1996 to 2001as per the cases admitted to the care of CAS. By the year 2003 this number increased to more than 18,000 children (Adamoski, Richardson,1985, p.103).