Sponsoring Agency: Departmental - predessors to the current Department for Child Protection and Family Support
"Tenders have been called by the Public Works Department for the necessary repairs and improvements to be carried out on the proposed Group Home at Derby. It is hoped that work will begin on this project in the very near future." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1978).
Group Homes could 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.
"The Derby Group Home has been renovated and furnished. Group Home Parents have been selected and the facility should be operational in September. It is anticipated that it will provide emergency and short to medium term care for a variety of children within a family type setting." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1979).
The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes the Derby Group Home 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.") operated by the Department.
"The Derby Group Home is now fully operational and is proving to be a valuable resource for children who require care pending a longer term placement or their return home. The Group Home parents have effectively created a warm family setting for those children placed in their care and are a valuable addition to the Departmental team in Derby." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1980).
"The Derby Group Home has been operating from August 1979. It has proved a valuable resource for Derby. Children have been placed there for a variety of reasons, including 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.
Recently there has been a change of Group Home parents, however it is anticipated that this facility will continue to provide a good standard of care provided there in the past." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1981).
In 1983, the Department reported that they took a "community development" approach to the organisation and management of the hostels and group homes in the Kimberley.
"Parents are consulted about their children going to hostels away from home and the advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The parents are becoming more reluctant to send their children away and appropriate education in the community is now becoming an important issue in Fitzroy Crossing, Christmas Creek and One Arm Point. The group homes are only used when there are no relatives able or capable of looking after the children of a mother who may have to go to hospital or Perth. Once again, the responsibility is placed on the community and extended family to deal with their problems." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).
"The group home provides short term emergency care for a maximum of eight children when for whatever reason they cannot remain with their parents." (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1984).
In 1984, the Derby Group Home was providing emergency, short and medium-term facility for Wards and non-Wards placed by the Department. No children placed at time of reporting in 1984. Had been closed at various times before re-opening in the 1980s.
In 1995, it was reported that the Derby Group Home had been "used as an office when the District Office burnt down" but was not presently in use as a residential facility. (OHAC Cost Project, Department for Community Services, June 1995).
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.
Additionally, the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's Aboriginal Index and the guide, "Looking West", should be consulted for information.
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/WE00069
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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