South Hedland Group Home was established in 1979. It was government-run and provided emergency and short term accommodation for up to eight young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in a family setting. Another home, the Port Hedland Group Home, was also in the area, giving child welfare authorities a choice of placements. By at least 2000, the South Hedland Group Home had closed but the building continued to be used as a departmental office.
In 1978, the Department for Community Welfare (Signposts 2004, pp.503-504) outlined what it intended when it was establishing the South Hedland Group Home: 'This facility will accommodate up to eight children on a short term basis and has been designed to duplicate, as nearly as possible, a normal family situation. The Group Home should reduce the need to send children in need of Care and Protection to Perth because of lack of suitable local facilities.' Until this home is established the only other residential care facility for young children in the Pilbara is Yaandina Babies and Children's Centre in Roebourne. Placement of other than local children at Yaandina makes it difficult for parents to maintain regular contact with their children because of the distance they have to travel to see them.'
The South Hedland Group Home had closed by 2000, possibly earlier, and the property was subsequently used by government authorities as the Port Hedland Lifeskills Office and briefly as a residential group home known as Jibson House.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.504-505', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Department for Child Protection and Family Support, internal document 'Country Residential Group Homes - All Items' received by email 7 March 2014; Emails from Department for Child Protection and Family Support, 11-22 August 2014.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 21 November 2014