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Broadmeadows Family Centre


The Broadmeadows Family Centre was a service established by the Mission to the Streets and Lanes in October 1974. It provided family counselling, emergency foster care and a ‘home making’ service. The Centre was set up in response to requests to the Mission for a social worker in that area, and the need to regionalize social work services in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne. In 1976, it moved into a three-bedroom house in Gordon Court, Glenroy.

The first employee of the Broadmeadows Family Centre was Joan Gilchrist, a social worker. Its office was located in the former St Agnes’ Home in Glenroy.

The Broadmeadows Family centre provided family counselling, emergency foster care and a ‘home making’ service. Home making was a preventive initiative, which involved providing practical assistance to families who were having trouble coping. The workers were initially known as ‘home makers’, but in later years this was changed to ‘family aides’. Their help might involve child-minding, playing with children, shopping trips, assistance with budgeting.

In 1976, the Broadmeadows Family Centre moved to 7 Gordon Court, Glenroy. The Centre established an after school activities program for children at the house in Gordon Court.

The Centre grew rapidly after its establishment in 1974. In early 1977 it employed 4 social workers, 2 ‘home makers’ and a secretary. In late 1976, Joan Gilchrist described the program at Broadmeadows as ‘exciting’, but pointed out that the Centre faced ‘continual difficulty in attracting people to come and work in the Glenroy/Broadmeadows area’.

The Mission’s annual report for 1980 referred to ‘financial pressures’ impacting on Broadmeadows Family Centre.

In 1997, the Mission to the Streets and Lanes merged with the Mission of St James and St John and St John’s Homes for Boys and Girls, to form the new agency, Anglicare Victoria. In 2010, Anglicare Victoria continues to provide services in the Broadmeadows area, including foster care and a range of family services.

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