St Anthony's Home was the new name given in 1943 to St Anthony's Children's Home, in Kew. It was run the Sisters of St Joseph, and accommodated boys aged between 3 and 6. In 1976, the Home closed and services were transferred to St Anthony's Family Service, in Footscray.
In November 1955, St Anthony's Home was declared an approved children's home under the Children's Welfare Act 1954.
In 1958 St Anthony's purchased a residence next door to the existing Home and established a family group home for 8 children.
In the 1960s the Home again changed its admission policy so that girls were accepted so long as they were siblings to boys in the Home's care. The age range was also extended so that boys did not normally leave, usually for St Vincent's Boys Home, until they were 10 years old.
By the late 1960s the capacity of the Home had been reduced to accommodate approximately 70 children. In the main Home children were accommodated in groups of 15 to 18, while a group of 8 children lived in the family group home.
In 1972 Sisters of St Joseph who had also trained as social workers, supported professional child care staff to improve the standard of care in the Josephite Homes. The Sisters began to review their child care services- including St Anthony's, St Joseph's Broadmeadows and St Joseph's Surrey Hills- as a whole and moved towards smaller group care. This included providing family group homes, foster care, adoption and fostering of babies, the occasional adoption of older children, and a 24 hour a day emergency care service for children.
By 1976 the Order moved from the Wellington Street Kew site to focus more fully on child care needs in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Sources used to compile this entry: Victoria Government Gazette Online Archive 1836-1997, State Library of Victoria, 2009, http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/; Barnard, Jill; Twigg, Karen, Holding on to Hope: a history of the founding agencies of MacKillop Family Services 1854-1997, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2004; 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Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.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: 12 August 2009, Last modified: 13 May 2013