Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (Tweddle)


  • Auspice: Committee of Management
  • Name: Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (Tweddle)
  • Other names: Tweddle Babies’ Hospital; Tweddle Babies’ Home; Tweddle Hospital for Babies and School of Mothercraft
  • Location: Footscray 


  • Auspice: Committee of Management
  • Name: Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (Tweddle)
  • Other names: Tweddle Babies’ Hospital; Tweddle Babies’ Home; Tweddle Hospital for Babies and School of Mothercraft
  • Location: Footscray 

Tweddle history in brief

In 1923, a voluntary governing council established and managed Tweddle Hospital for Babies and School of Mothercraft, Footscray.

In 1960, a new single-storey brick hospital building housed up to 32 children including some wards, and Tweddle was classified as a category 2 children's home.

By 1965, the hospital had three sections:

  • a mother's wing for eight mothers and their babies
  • a nursery wing for 24 babies needing specialised care, dietetic or post-operative care
  • separate accommodation block for nursing and domestic staff.

Tweddle also provided care for babies and toddlers awaiting foster care or adoption, and short-term care for babies and toddlers whose parents were ill, hospitalised, or on holidays. 

Tweddle also operated as a training school for with capacity for 12 infant welfare students and 24 mothercraft students (training that is now conducted by the tertiary education sector).

Today, Tweddle is a statewide Early Parenting intervention and prevention health service and public hospital with a priority on supporting Victoria's most vulnerable and at risk mums, dads, babies and toddlers.

Tweddle services to over 4,000 families annually including:

  • day stay, residential programs
  • parenting assessment skills development
  • assessment and intake
  • counselling
  • parenting support in prisons
  • childbirth education
  • in home support service
  • therapeutic program for dads 
  • peer support for parents of children with a disability, development delay or chronic medical condition.  

Tweddle currently operates as a child and family health service in the Western Region.

Client records
Enquiries regarding client records should be made to:
Tweddle Child and Family Health Service
53 Adelaide Street
Footscray 3011
Ph 9689 1577

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 Find & Connect.


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.1985)

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 files are listed under Tweddle Babies Home and date from 1965–83. These files include the following enclosures:


  • visit report, 1965
  • application and approval for declaration as an approved children’s home, The Tweddle Baby Hospital, School of Infant Welfare and Mothercraft, 1965
  • correspondence regarding overcrowding at Allambie, and placing more babies at Tweddle, 1965
  • list of wards admitted from Allambie since 1965, 1967
  • correspondence regarding child empowerment  and  boarding out payments, 1966–68
  • payment for non-ward babies, 1968
  • press clipping, 1971
  • reports on multiple wards, 1974
  • report based on a visit to the home by children’s home section social worker, 1974
  • list of wards, 1974, 1977
  • notes of discussion between Tweddle and Children’s Homes Section, 1977
  • detailed visit report, 1977
  • correspondence regarding proposed government  expenditure cuts, 1983.


  • annual reports, 1973,1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980.

Reviewed 10 August 2016