Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.557-558) show that Warramia Group Home was established on a 1,500 hectare farm property that had been donated to child welfare authorities. In 1972, the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) intended that Warramia would house up to eight primary-school children in a family-type environment with a cottage mother. The children who would be placed at Warramia were described in the DCW's annual report in 1974 (Signposts p.557) as children 'who need a relaxed, stabilising experience prior to longer-term placement'.
During this period Warramia was also used by the DCW as a place where boys at the Hillston detention centre could be sent to learn farm skills. By 1974, the DCW saw greater value in Warramia being an 'annexe' of Hillston that being a group home for younger children.
In 1980 (Signposts p.557), the DCW outlined the relationships between Warramia and Hillston: 'Prior to discharge to farm employment selected boys at Hillston gain experience on the Department's 1500 hectare property at Badgingarra. Hillston services the property and benefits with supplies of meat and fodder'.
By 1981, authorities were becoming concerned about the number of boys running away from Warramia. Referrals from Hillston either stopped or slowed by 1982. It is unclear what purpose Warramia served between 1982 and 1989, when it was reported by the Department for Community Services (Signposts p.558), that Warramia offered a five-week program 'during the normal farming cycles and during the summer holidays. Children, drawn mainly from country areas, were taught farm and personal development skills'.
In 1993, Warramia was transferred to the Ministry of Justice. It continued as a farm school for young people involved in the youth justice system and was closed around 2004.
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
04 July 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00236
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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