Kildonan Homes for Children came into being in around 1960, following the sale of Kildonan's children's Home in Burwood. From the early 1960s, Kildonan ran family group homes in Melbourne's eastern suburbs as well as a foster care program. From 1982 Kildonan operated residential units solely in Melbourne's inner northern suburbs. In 1993, the organisation became known as Kildonan Child and Family Services.
In around 1958 Kildonan opened its first family group home in property within the grounds of the Children's Home in Burwood. It housed up to eight children with a cottage father and mother.
Following the sale of Kildonan's home in Elgar Road, Burwood in the early 1960s, Kildonan Homes for Children began a new program of residential services with a family group home program, based on professional social work and foster care principles.
Several homes in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne were purchased as Kildonan moved away from 'institutional' care towards the family group home model.
By 1962 Kildonan was operating family group homes in Blackburn, Box Hill, Syndal, North Balwyn and Surrey Hills. At various times, Kildonan family group homes were also located at Burwood, East Malvern, Canterbury, Hawthorn, Richmond, and Wattle Park.
Children entered Kildonan's family group homes from the Admission Centre in Hawthorn. The Admission Centre also accommodated children experiencing placement problems.
The Kildonan Foster Care Program was established in the early 1960s and sought to place children with private families. The Foster Care Program was funded by the sale of Kildonan's home in Burwood. The funds enabled Kildonan Homes for Children to expand its program options by developing a sophisticated foster care and family counselling program based on professional social work and foster care principles.
In 1963 Kildonan opened new administrative offices at 19 Canterbury Road Camberwell and in 1964 commenced a program of day care for children of school age who would otherwise be in institutional care.
Following a further review of its operations in 1979-1980 Kildonan Homes shifted its residential care focus to the inner urban region. The focus was to remain on medium to long term care rather than short term/emergency placements, complementing long-term foster care or adoption where indicated. In 1979 it ran Family Group Homes in country Victoria Sale and Bairnsdale.
By 1982 all of Kildonan's residential care work was focused on the inner urban region, specifically Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond. This program was known as the Kildonan Residential Units.
In 1985 Kildonan consolidated its presence in the Inner Urban region by moving its administrative headquarters to Collingwood.
In 1989, Richmond Community Care Inc. took over the management of the three residential units formerly managed by Kildonan.
In 1993, the organisation became known as Kildonan Child and Family Services. In that year, Kildonan merged with Whittlesea Family Services.
In 2007 Kildonan Uniting Care became the custodian of records of the programs run by Kildonan Homes for Children.
1890 - c. 1937 Kildonan, North Melbourne
1937 - c. 1961 Kildonan, Burwood
c. 1960 - c. 1993 Kildonan Homes for Children
c. 1993 - 2007 Kildonan Child and Family Services
2007 - 2017 Kildonan UnitingCare
2017 - Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Limited
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Historical Details', Kildonan Uniting Care, 7 September 2007.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 17 February 2009, Last modified: 16 November 2022