• Glossary Term

Family Group Home

Details

Family Group Home is the name given to a model of ‘care’ where small groups of children are accommodated in buildings that approximate the size and form of a average family home. They began to appear in as a form of ‘care’ in Australia from the late 1940s, following concerns about the lack of individual attention given to children in large-scale institutions. Family Group Homes could be run by government departments or by non-government organisations.

Family group Homes could be run by government departments or by non-government organisations. Sometimes the terms cottage home and family group home were used interchangeably.

In 1946, the Curtis Report, which followed an investigation of Children’s Homes in the United Kingdom, had called for the development of the family group Home system, following concerns about the lack of individual attention given to children in large institutions. It recommended that family group Homes not exceed 12 children, and have a mix of ages and sexes. This report was influential on child welfare policy in Australia.

From the 1950s onwards, encouraged by state governments, many non-government institutions shifted away from large-scale, institutional care by establishing family group Homes, often located in the same suburb as the original orphanage or children’s Home. Other institutions built cottage Homes as an alternative to congregate care. State governments also established their own family group Homes.

Sometimes family group homes that were located in the community, rather than on the grounds of a children’s institution, were called scattered family group homes.

In South Australia, the term used was Family Homes. These Family Homes generally provided short-term care. In the Northern Territory, they were also known as Family Homes.

In Tasmania, Family Group Homes were not introduced until about 1980 and they had a specific meaning in this state. In Tasmania, Family Group Homes run by the Social Welfare Department provided temporary accommodation for children before they were placed in foster care, or were a place to stay between placements. These Homes were previously known as receiving homes in Tasmania.

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  • Alternative Names

    FGH

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