St Anthony's Family Service, Footscray, was established by the Sisters of St Joseph in 1976, following the closure of St Anthony's Children's Home in Kew. It provided family support services combined with specialist educational services and family group home care. In 1997, these services became part of MacKillop Family Services.
St Anthony's Family Service administration and family support was provided from offices in Commercial Road, Footscray. The Service aimed to work toward the prevention of family breakdown in addition to providing good quality residential care for children where breakdown occurred. The program was distinctive in that it committed resources to a limited number of families over an extended period of time. Previously, these families had been unable to use the existing welfare structures and required long term and intensive support.
Residential care was provided through four local family group homes. Group foster care was also provided. St Anthony's community based program provided support including family aides and volunteers to families in the community. Agency staff also worked with families in St Anthony's Footscray drop-in centre, and provided emergency residential care for children and mothers.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic organisations caring for children separated from their families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, November 1999, http://www.cssa.org.au/storage/A%20Piece%20of%20the%20Story.pdf; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 17 February 2009, Last modified: 13 May 2013