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New South Wales - Organisation

North Coast Children's Home (c. 1920 - c. 2000)

  • The home [North Coast Children's Home]

    "The home" [North Coast Children's Home], 1976, courtesy of The Australian Women's Weekly.
    Details

From
c. 1920
To
c. 2000
Categories
Anglican, Care Provider, Children's Home, Home and Protestant
Alternative Names
  • Church of England North Coast Children's Home
  • North Coast Children's Home Inc (1984 - c. 2000)

The North Coast Children's Home was established in Lismore as a 'district home' for orphan and neglected children in 1920, by the Vicar of St Andrew's and the Church of England. It ran in rental houses and private homes until 1936, when the committee bought an old police station, next to St Andrews' Anglican Church Lismore. The North Coast Children's Home was incorporated in 1984 and changed its name to Child and Adolescent Specialist Program (CASPA) in the early 2000s. The North Coast Children's Home has been the subject of inquiries by the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Details

The North Coast Children's Home officially opened in 1936, after the Committee remodelled an old police station, next to St Andrew's Lismore. It was incorporated in 1984 and changed its name to CASPA (Child and Adolescent Specialist Program) in the early 2000s.

In 2009 the Bishop of Grafton offered both an apology and financial support to former residents who suffered abuse in the home.

The question of who actually ran the North Coast Children's Home has confused many people. Find & Connect web resource staff have been told by several people who tried to get their records from the Home, or take action for abuse they suffered, that the Anglican Diocese of Grafton had claimed it did not run the Home. In 2012 this entry on the Find & Connect web resource stated:

The question of who was responsible for the home and the treatment of residents has been the subject of some debate, and of legal action by a former resident who was abused in the Home. It appears to have been run by a committee, and not directly operated by the Church of England, but was endorsed and blessed by the Church.

In 2009 the Bishop of Grafton offered both an apology and financial support to former residents who suffered abuse in the home.

An article from The Australian Women's Weekly of 1976 states clearly that the Home was run by the Anglican Church, through St Andrew's Church at Lismore.

However, in May 2013 the issue of who is responsible for the abuse that occurred at North Coast Children's Home was clarified. In late 2012 an audit of 'Professional Standards matters' (that is, abuse claims) was done, in preparation for the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. On 17 May 2013 the Bishop of Grafton resigned, stating the audit had showed he had handled claims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home without applying the Anglican Church's professional standards protocols, or appropriate pastoral care.

In his statement of resignation the Bishop admitted that abuse had occurred at the North Coast Children's Home from the 1940s to the 1980s, saying it was perpetrated by former staff members, visiting clergy, host families and other residents. The Bishop said he had paid compensation to some victims of abuse in 2007, but had been unsure whether the Anglican Diocese of Grafton was legally liable for the abuse at the North Coast Children's Home. The Bishop admitted he had dealt poorly with claims made from 2008-2011 and had not applied the Anglican Church's Professional Standards Protocol to these cases, or referred them to police. He also admitted he had turned away claimants and denied them compensation. The Bishop concluded his statement by apologising to survivors of the abuse.

An interim administrator for the Diocese was appointed on 17 May 2013. On 21 May 2013 The Daily Telegraph reported that the resignation of the Bishop of Grafton had taken place after personal intervention by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

In November 2013 an investigation by Joanne McCarthy of The Newcastle Herald showed that the then Bishop of Grafton had ignored child sex abuse charges when appointing a priest to Lismore Parish in 1968, and that the priest later went on to abuse children at the North Coast Children's Home in 1975 and 1976.

Location

1936 - c. 2000
Location - North Coast Children's Home Inc. was situated on Keen Street, Lismore. Location: Lismore

Timeline

 c. 1920 - c. 2000 North Coast Children's Home
       c. 2000 - Child and Adolescent Specialist Programs and Accommodation

Publications

Reports

  • Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp. Details

Online Resources

Photos

North Coast Children's Home
Title
North Coast Children's Home
Type
Image
Date
1950? - 1990?
Source
Care Leavers Australaisa Network (CLAN)

Details

Title
"The home" [North Coast Children's Home]
Type
Image
Date
1976
Source
The Australian Women's Weekly

Details

Public statement by the Right Reverend Keith Slater regarding the management of
claims of abuse by the Diocese of Grafton at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore NSW
Title
Public statement by the Right Reverend Keith Slater regarding the management of claims of abuse by the Diocese of Grafton at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore NSW
Type
Document
Date
17 May 2013

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'North Coast Children's Home', The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1935, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17199405; 'Anglican Bishop of Grafton quits over 'failings' in child abuse complaints', The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 2013, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/anglican-bishop-of-grafton-quits-over-failings-in-child-abuse-complaints-20130518-2jsx4.html#ixzz2Tu97En00; Anglican Diocese of Grafton, Anglican Church of Australia: Diocese of Grafton, 2013, http://www.graftondiocese.org.au/; CASPA, 'The North Coast Children's Home', in Child and Adolescent Specialist Programs and Accommodation, 2012-2013, http://www.caspa.asn.au/short-history; Fife-Yeomans, Janet, 'Archbishop's intervention led to fall of Bishop', The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2013, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/archive/news/archbishops-intervention-led-to-fall-of-bishop/news-story/40f2a06f09a2fcbe5a6442bf17792f86; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp; Keavney, Kay, 'Home's where you go when you need somebody', Australian Women's Weekly, 23 June 1976, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51188148; McCarthy, 'Bishop ignored child sex charges', Newcastle Herald, 8 November 2013, http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1896434/bishop-ignored-child-sex-charges/; Overington, Caroline, 'Home of Broken Trust', The Australian, 13 March 2009, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/home-of-broken-trust/story-e6frg6z6-1111119114790; Public statement by the Right Reverend Keith Slater regarding the management of claims of abuse by the Diocese of Grafton at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore NSW [Document], Date: 17 May 2013; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.

Prepared by: Naomi Parry