Barnardos Children’s Family Centre in Downer came into being in 1983 and replaced Barnardos House and Berwick House in Curtin. By the early 1990s Barnardos had shifted away from residential care to foster care and family support. From 1993 Barnardos Children’s Family Centre has run Find-a-Family ACT, a program organising permanent foster placements.
Barnardos Children’s Family Centre offers family support, out-of-home care and supported accommodation services for children, adolescents and their families in the ACT and surrounding areas. The Centre was previously known as Barnardos House; it opened in 1964 and was the first children’s Home providing permanent care in the ACT.
Since the 1970s there has been a major emphasis on family-based placements. In 2011 there are no children’s homes for children under twelve. Efforts are focused on finding permanent solutions for children within their own family if possible, alternatively children are placed with substitute families or supported in independent living.
Services include: foster care, homelessness transition programs and housing outreach, mentoring programs, family support. The program Find-a-Family ACT (or FAF Canberra) assists children unable to live at home with permanent family care placements or adoption.
Barnardos Canberra Children's Family Centre was located at 2 Atherton Street, Downer, Australian Capital Territory (Building Still standing)