This article might explain how John ended up in care. This story was firstly reported in the Ballarat Star.
Kilmore Free Press and Counties of Bourke and Dalhousie Advertiser (Kilmore, Vic. : 1865 - 1868)(issue Thursday 9 August 1866
YOUNG AUSTRALIA _ The township of Linton is apparently not without its youth ful delinquents, as will appear by the following:--A youth named William Jameison, seventeen years of age, who has been for some time past in the service as postboy, of Mr Hugill, postmaster, Linton, left as usual on the morning of Tuesday, 31st July, to bring the mail and papers from Happy Valley, but did not return with them at the usual hour. He sent them home by another youth with a message to Mr Hugill, that he had gone to Dunolly. Constable Thomas Kennedy happened to be in the township at the time, and from the previous knowledge of the boy's character, his suspicions were aroused that the boy had been committing some crime, and immediately left for the camp to make preparations to go in pursuit of the delinquent. Whilst making prepara tions, Mr Hugill arrived and confirmed the constable's suspicions, by stating several charges of embezzlement against Jamieson. Constable Kennedy thinking the trip to Dunolly was a mere blind to his real destination, started on horseback through the Linton Ranges in the Skipton direction, and about dark came upon the boy Jamieson, in company with a lad about eleven years of age, named John Theodore, who he had in duced to go with him on an expedition to Hamilton, camped in a mia mia five miles from Skipton. Constable Kennedy arrested them both, and brought them back to Lin ton lock-up, where they will await their trial. Theodore will be brought up as a glected child. Several charges of em bezzlement and larcency will be preferred against Jamieson. Had it not been for the promptitude and immediate action taking by Constable Kennedy, the delinquent might have for some weeks escaped the vigilance of the police.-Ballarat Star.