In this discussion, of a socio-historical nature, within the scope of the [Social] History of Education and Childhood, we analyze the child / childhood in the intricacies of the 19th century and part of the 20th century in Portugal. We used the hermeneutic approach methodology in the construction and interpretation of the documentary corpus, which was supported by specialized literature of the time and recent on those childhoods that did not have a process of normalization and schooling imposed by the society of the time. These childhoods are limited to an abnormality of behaviors and situations, due to the family, social and surrounding environment. The structure of the text, composed of 4 points, coincides with the established objectives: to understand the emergence of childhood that accompanied the social, family and political changes of the 19th century, causing social situations and conditions with an impact on children; explaining the emergence of social reforms with assistance and educational measures for the child / childhood, with emphasis on hygiene; analyzing the visibility of disadvantaged and marginalized children and the protection and institutionalization’s responses; to know the intervention measures on offending and delinquent children. It was up to social (political) reformers, with emphasis on the State and philanthropists to implement assistance, educational and moral regeneration measures, using specific protection institutions.