Centacare Catholic Community Services Sydney was the welfare arm of the Catholic Church until 2011, when it changed its name to CatholicCare. It had previously been known as the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau.
In the 1960s the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau had changed the nature of Catholic institutions by centralising admissions and requiring parents to pay maintenance. It had also introduced social work principles, including individual and family case work. All these reduced the numbers of children coming into care. Institutions also introduced more family-style accommodation, in the form of cottages and units, and phased out dormitory-style accommodation.
In the early 1970s Centacare developed a foster care programme. This began as respite from institutions, but evolved into a system that linked the child with its natural parents and the foster family, in the hope of eventual family reunion. This offered an alternative to institutional care for families in crisis. Under these policies, the numbers of children in Catholic orphanages and homes fell to such an extent that most were closed.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Our History', in Welcome to CatholicCare Sydney, CatholicCare Sydney, 2013, http://www.catholiccare.org/; Burford, Kathleen E. RSJ, Unfurrowed Fields: A Josephite Story NSW 1872-1972, 1991, 287 pp.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 23 November 2011, Last modified: 15 May 2017