Grassmere Youth Services (1973–98)


  • Auspice: United Church/ UnitingCare Connections (1993–current)
  • Title or Name: Grassmere Youth Services (1973–98)
  • Predecessor to current: Grassmere Centre
  • Address:Cnr Photnia and Cedar Streets, Doveton 3177


  • Auspice: United Church/ UnitingCare Connections (1993–current)
  • Title or Name: Grassmere Youth Services (1973–98)
  • Predecessor to current: Grassmere Centre
  • Address:Cnr Photnia and Cedar Streets, Doveton 3177

Grassmere Youth Services history in brief  

In 1973, Grassmere Youth Services was established by a small group of welfare professionals to provide non-residential supervision and support for young offenders in the Dandenong area. Grassmere was the original name for Doveton.

In the 1970s Grassmere established Burremah, an educational unit providing counselling and training for children with behavioural issues. 

Grassmere Youth Services involved the child, the family, the community and the child's peers. It had capacity for approximately 85 young people per year who attended while they lived at home. 

During the 1990s, Grassmere introduced an adolescent community placement program, a child care course for pregnant adolescents and a youth outreach program for young offenders. 

In 1993, the Uniting Church assumed governance of Grassmere.

In 1994, Grassmere Youth Services moved to Narre Warren and recommenced the Burremah program.

In 1996, Grassmere commenced programs in the Cardinia area.

In 1998, Grassmere merged with Copelen Child and Family Services.

Further innovative and high-need programs were introduced in the late 1990s, including Strengthening Families, and the Real Deal drug and drug education program.

Grassmere Youth Services programs include the Adolescent Community Placement Program, providing supported family-based accommodation for 'at risk' young people. 

The Burremah Program and the Discovering Connected Pathways programs provide short-term intervention for up to 12 school students with learning or social difficulties who are at risk of dropping out of school. Grassmere also provides an alternative learning program for year 9 and 10 students also at risk of dropping out. 

Grassmere Youth Services is now part of UnitingCare Connections, a new organisation created through the amalgamation of a number of Uniting Church welfare agencies.

See Find & Connect for more detail on the history of child welfare in Australia.

Client Records

Records relating to Grassmere can be accessed via a request to:

Officer in Charge
Adoption Information Service
UnitingCare Connections
274 High Street
Windsor Victoria 3181
Ph 03 9521 5666

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.


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

Voluntary children’s homes files (c.1930– c.85)

File; Permanent (VPRS Number 18069 / P0001)

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 relating to Grassmere dates from 1976–79 and includes:

  • press clippings, 1976
  • document outlining Grassmere’s aims, functions, activities and clientele, including Burremah education unit for persistent truants, 1979.

Reviewed 05 September 2016