Beth-el Children's Homes history in brief
In 1963, an individual (a nursing sister) established this small home in rented premises at 8 Amelia Street, Caulfield. It operated without a committee of management, caring for children placed under the infant life protection provisions.
In 1965, the home moved to other rented premises at 15 Banool Avenue, Kew.
In the early 1970s, the home moved again to rented premises at 16 Yerrin Street Balwyn, and afterwards to 12 Carinda Road Canterbury whose purchase was part-funded by the Victorian Government to ensure some degree of stability.
In the late 1970s, widespread change saw the home phased out. In 1978 and 1979, no more wards were placed at Beth-el, but in 1983 the home was still functioning with private placements. Its closure date cannot be verified.
Warning about distressing information
This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience. Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria. If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.
Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see .
- Guide to out-of-home care services 1940–2000: volume one – agency descriptions, compiled by James Jenkinson Consulting, North Melbourne, November 2001.
List of records held by the department
For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide to Central department wardship and out-of-home care records. These collections date back to the 1860s and include ward registers, index cards and ward files.
Voluntary children’s homes files (c.1930–c.85)
File; Permanent VPRS Number 18069 / P0002
Content: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government. This filing system was created in 1975, combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with VH prefixes.
The specific file(s) dated 1963–83 relating to this home include:
- documentation associated with the set up, registration and establishment of Beth-el Children’s Home, 1963–66
- relocation of the home,1970–73
- property purchase and financial assistance, 1970–73
- child and staff information, 1963–78
- press clippings, 1972–73
- correspondence regarding alleged incidents, 1972–78
- cessation of funding and family group home application, 1979–83.
Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels files (1976–83)
Content: This collection comprises files documenting the recommendations for staffing positions for homes and hostels, correspondence between the Minister of Community Welfare Services and senior officers as well as funding information.
The Staffing Priorities Committee made recommendations to the minister regarding priority of staffing positions required. Individual homes and hostels are listed accompanied by comprehensive material concerning each home, family group home or hostel.
There are also minutes from the approved children's homes and hostels meetings from 1978–80.
The specific file relating to Beth-el Children’s Home dates from 1976–78.
Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels, correspondence, guidelines for operation and minutes of meetings (1976-80)
Content: The material includes ministerial correspondence, and Staffing Priority Committee minutes and list of members.
The Staffing Priorities Committee made recommendations to the minister regarding priority of staffing positions required.
Family Welfare Division funding and accounts files (1971–77)
Content: These accounts and funding files are for individual children’s homes and are used to make allocations. They contain a monthly census giving names and dates of birth to calculate per capita expenses.
There are annual reports of homes, income statements, reports on conditions of homes as assessed on visits. The records are arranged in a broad chronological order.
The specific file(s) relating to the Beth-el Children’s Home dates from 1971–75.
Reviewed 23 August 2016