Harney Family Home was opened by the government in Rapid Creek in 1968. It provided long term accommodation for up to nine Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children from babies to teenagers under the supervision of cottage parents. The Harney Family Home closed in 1985.
Harney Family Home was opened in Sabine Road, Rapid Creek in 1968. It was one of three Family Homes established in the Darwin area that year. The other Homes were Hamilton Family Home and Chinnery Family Home.
Harney Family Home, named after a former officer of the Welfare Branch, was a purpose-built five bedroom residence. It was established by the Welfare Branch of the Northern Territory Administration to provide long term accommodation for up to nine children, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. The Home was managed by a Cottage Mother and her husband. They received rent-free accommodation and were paid a subsidy for each child under their care as well as a supervisory allowance.
The Home took in children from babies to teenagers for various periods of time, often long term, and had the capacity to take in a number of children from a single family.
From 1972, the Harney Family Home was run by the Welfare Division which had replaced the Welfare Branch. From the end of 1972 until 1974 the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs took over control of child welfare in the Northern Territory and was therefore responsible for all government Homes for children. From 1974 the Home came under the control of the Community Welfare Section of the Northern Territory Administration. Records suggest that by 1974 the Harney Family Home took in mainly older children, aged between 15 and 17.
Harney Family Home continued to operate through the 1970s. Although the building was damaged by Cyclone Tracy in December 1974, it was considered to be structurally sound and able to be rehabilitated.
In September 2020 a former resident of the Harney Family Home informed the Find & Connect web resource that this home closed around the end of 1985.
Sources used to compile this entry: F1411 Correspondence files relating to social development with an 'SD' Prefix,: SD1705 & SD 1706, Foster Homes (Special) Proposed Establishment - Policy, NTAS.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 30 January 2013, Last modified: 8 September 2020