Foster Care Westernport was established in 1979. As well as providing foster care, it provided respite care for children with disabilities through the Westernport Interchange program. The agency had a separate foster care program for adolescents. In 1991, Foster Care Westernport merged with the Victorian Children's Aid Society to form the new organisation, Family Focus.
According to the 2017 history of the organisation, Foster Care Westernport was reliant on the support of the Uniting Church in its early days.
Foster Care Westernport ran a number of op-shops, which raised funds for its programs.
In the late 1980s, Foster Care Westernport built holiday homes in Inverloch, a property known as Townsend Bluff, that could accommodate several foster families, up to 22 people at a time. (The property was sold in the 1990s.)
The 2017 history of Foster Care Westernport describes how the agency worked with state-run institutions including Allambie, Turana and Winlaton, and other institutions like Glastonbury Children's Home and Melbourne Family Care Organisation. The agency provided short term placements in its foster homes for children from these institutions, to come and stay during holidays like Easter and Christmas.
Sources used to compile this entry: Griffiths, Ciara and Gilkerson, Darcy, Foster Care Westernport: a legacy of generosity, OzChild, 2017, https://www.ozchild.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WesternportFosterCare-full-PDF.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 31 January 2018