[Taken from the Western Australian guide Signposts]
Residential child care on a family model
Sponsoring agency: Departmental - predessors to the current Department for Child Protection and Family Support
Group Homes could be developed relatively inexpensively, so they were able to be located within country towns close to the child's home of origin, which was seen to be particularly advantageous. "The involvement and access to parents by these placements is often a major step in the rehabilitation of a family group." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1979). For notes on a general history of these facilities, see the section on Group Homes at the beginning of Signposts.
"Canowindra group home functions have been extended to temporary care and conferencing of children, including increased parental involvement in this process. Currently a foster programme is being developed which will be based on Canowindra with the intention that this facility can be assisted by a voluntary association, as well as provide the focus for foster parent training in this district" (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1977).
"A group home at Gelorup has been renovated and extended to provide accommodation for 10 children." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1974).
The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes Canowindra as a 'scattered group home' (ie. "a family group home whose grounds do not adjoin those of another family group home, or other residential child care establishment, operated by the same enterprise.").
The Canowindra Group Home, "which accommodates children in need of care and protection, continues to provide a necessary residential service. In addition, this facility and the Group Home parents, offer a unique opportunity for assessment of special needs which is of great benefit for future planning for appropriate care of the children.
'Canowindra' also serves as the venue for an Annual Xmas Party for foster children and parents from the surrounding districts, which provides the opportunity for staff, children, foster parents and parents to gather on an informal basis and enjoy the Festive Season." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1980).
"Canowindra Group Home for children in Gelorup continues to maintain its high standard of care. Demands indicate that in the future, a further facility of this type is needed in Bunbury." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1981).
"Canowindra Group Home provided an excellent service and allowed localised care and planning to effectively cater for children's needs within Bunbury, without disrupting their school and social affiliations." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1982).
"In the area of child care, Canowindra Group Home maintains its central role of excellent alternate child care. This facility is crucial in assisting staff to manage cases where child care is an issue and its availability assists localised prevention…as well as ready parental access." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).
In 1986, Canowindra provided facilities for primary school aged children.
In 1996, the Canowindra Group Home "was converted into a hostel for short to medium term accommodation for children at risk." (Family and Children's Services, Annual Report 1995/96).
Canowindra was being refurbished at the time of reporting in 2004. (Internal Memo Manager Hostels Group to A/Manager Information Support Services, Department for Community Development, July 19th 2004).
Case records for young people placed by the department responsible for child welfare may be held by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support.
While access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
The collection held by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (DCPFS) dates from 1894. It includes records from the Government Receiving Depot, the State Children's Department, the Child Welfare Department and more recent departments which have been known at different times as the Department for Child Protection, Community Development, Community Welfare, Community Services, and Family and Children's Services. The records relate to children who were placed in all types of out of home 'care' in Western Australia. Some of the records held by the DCPFS were originally created by another government department or private agency.
Contact Freedom of Information, Department for Child Protection and Family Support:
PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892
Telephone: (08) 6217 6388 or (08) 6217 6381
Facsimile: (08) 9222 2776
Free call in WA: 1800 000 277
20 November 2013
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/ref/WE00039
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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