The Government Welfare Training Council was established in 1963, in Lisson Grove, Hawthorn. It provided what was for many people the first formal staff training in child care. Previously, the only training offered for child care workers was a course run by the Victorian Council of Social Service. The training centre was established in response to recommendations made by Merritt in his 1957 report to the Victorian government. In 1960, the government had established a new Training Division within the Social Welfare Department. The Social Welfare Act 1960 also brought into being a Social Welfare Training Council. Such initiatives demonstrate the interest in improving standards of 'care' in child and family welfare.
The Social Welfare Branch took over responsibility from VCOSS for training child care workers in 1962. Initially, the Training Division of the Social Welfare Branch conducted the courses. In 1967, this was taken over by the new Institute of Social Welfare.
One staff member from St Augustine's Orphanage reflected on his experiences receiving training for the first time:
The government had the training institute at Lisson Grove that really started to open our eyes. We heard for the first time about things like 'institutionalization of children' and 'maternal deprivation' and 'Bowlby' and all this sort of thing. It was all a new world. (Terry O'Brien, former Religious, St Augustine's 1962-68)
Sources used to compile this entry: Victorian Year Book, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victorian Office, 1873 - 2002. 1973.; 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; Merritt, D.R., Child Care Staffs in Institutions: report on survey undertaken for the Children's Welfare Advisory Council to determine the need for courses of training, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1957.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 7 May 2010, Last modified: 28 October 2011