The Young People's Refuge opened as a crisis centre in Chippendale in 1976. It was linked with Stretch-A-Family. In 1991 it was based in Marrickville and offered 24-hour crisis accommodation to girls aged 13-17. In 2013 it has two refuges in inner-western Sydney and is linked to Detour House, a supported accommodation service that includes drug rehabilitation programmes and refuges. In 2016 Young People's Refuge was renamed The Girls Refuge.
The Young People's Refuge (YPR) was opened in Chippendale as a youth crisis centre on 24 February 1976. It was established as an alternative to the services offered by the State Government and traditional care providers, such as the churches. Initially viewed as a radical alternative, the refuge struggled to obtain funding for its operations. Within a short time of opening, the refuge moved to North Sydney, and also operated in Manly for a while. To combat concerns that the needs of children under sixteen years who were coming to the refuge were not being met, the Stretch-A-Family (SAF) scheme began operating with the placement of some under sixteen year olds in voluntary foster families.
At the end of 1984, SAF and YPR agreed to a mutual separation. YPR moved to separate premises and still operates as a crisis refuge for young women. SAF continued to operate as a professional fostering agency for adolescents.
In 2003 the management of Young People's Refuge was taken over by Detour House. In 2016 Young People's Refuge was renamed The Girl's Refuge. The services provided by The Girl's Refuge in 2018 include short term accommodation (up to three months) for up to eight young women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, as well as support to young women and families living independently. Priority is given to girls who are aged 13-15 and young women from Aboriginal or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Sources used to compile this entry: Lack, Mark, 'Young People's Refuge faces closure', Green Left Weekly, 13 November 1991, http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/285; 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, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Melissa Downing and Naomi Parry
Created: 21 March 2011, Last modified: 13 November 2018