The Derby Group Home was established by the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) in 1979 to provide short to medium term accommodation for children in the surrounding area. It was open by August 1979 and government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.189-190) show that it was staffed by Group Home Parents. It was located in an existing building in Derby township, which was renovated for the purpose. Authorities at the time reported that (p.189) they hoped to involve parents in the life of the Derby Group Home.
In 1981, the DCW reported (Signposts pp.189-190) that they believed the Derby Group Home had made a useful contribution to the local community and described why children had been placed there: 'children in need of care due to family breakdowns, children in need of emergency accommodation and school children in need of overnight accommodation whilst waiting for connecting flights to travel to their respective schools or homes. Even though the placements were generally of a short duration, there have been instances where children have remained there for longer periods due to lack of alternative placements. In these instances there have been noticeable improvements in behaviour and learning of social skills by these children due to the stable and caring environment offered by the Group Home parents.'
From 1983, with parents increasingly reluctant to send their children away from families and communities, the need for the Derby Group Home gradually seemed to wane. As the DCW reported in 1983, the Home was only used when children couldn't go to extended family.
By 1984, the Derby Group Home was offering emergency accommodation only, and it is likely that it closed sometime during that year.
The building that had housed the Derby Group Home was subsequently used as a departmental office for child welfare authorities.
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
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs [predecessors], Records is a collection of records relating to Aboriginal family history in Western Australia. The collection includes records held in the State Records Office; copies of the Norman Tindale and Joseph Birdsell genealogies, photographs, journals and data; copies of the Elkin genealogies for the Kimberley region; and the Jan Goodacre Collection of genealogy, photographs and historical records.
Aboriginal History Research Unit, Department of Aboriginal Affairs:
PO Box 3153 East Perth WA 6892
Phone: 1300 651 077
Fax: (08) 6551 8008
25 June 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00069
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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