The Burwood Boys’ Home was established in 1895 by Robert Campbell Edwards and run by non-denominational Committee of Management. The Home first housed boys aged between 9 and 15. Girls were accepted to the Home from the early 1970s, when the name changed to the Burwood Children’s Home.
The Burwood Boys’ Home, at 155 Warrigal Road, Burwood, was established in 1895. Its founder was Robert Campbell Edwards, an Irish-born tea merchant. It was operated by a non-denominational Committee of Management, and was incorporated in 1909.
Burwood Boys’ Home was ‘an approved institution’ under the Children’s Welfare Act 1928. It was run as a farming community.
The Home was deregistered in 1936, and boys were transferred to Minton Boys’ Home, while new buildings were being completed. It was re-registered in 1937/38.
In 1939 there were 37 boys in the home, and by 1940 the number had increased to 47 and the home was at full capacity. The 1940 Annual Report for the committee of the home states that the construction of a new block as well as extensions and additions to pre-existing buildings of the Burwood Boys’ Home was started in this year in order to provide accommodation and facilities for an additional 25 boys. The 1940 report also provided some information regarding the activities of the boys in the preceding year. It stated that over the Christmas and New Year holidays the majority of the boys at the home were placed in private homes with families, and that others went away camping with a group of Rover Scouts. From 1940 boys at the home in grades 6 to 8 attended the Burwood State School in order to give them “more scope and competition.”
Accommodation at Burwood Boys’ Home changed to a ‘cottage system’ in the 1950s, in line with changing ideas about the care of children. In 1955, it applied to be recognised as an ‘approved children’s home’ under the Children’s Welfare Act 1954.
A hostel for boys who had completed schooling, The Palms in Hawthorn, was opened in 1940. This hostel was unpopular, however, and it was closed and sold in 1959. From 1972, older boys remained on the site of Burwood Boys’ Home, in the purpose-built Kemp Lodge.
Girls were accepted to the Home from the early 1970s, when the name changed to the Burwood Children’s Home.
The Home began to redirect its operations to the region around Shepparton in the late 1970s. It purchased houses in Shepparton in the early 1980s.
It became known as the Child and Family Care Network in the mid 1980s. The last child left the Burwood home in 1986. That year, the organisation sold the Burwood site and moved to new premises in Glen Waverley.
The organisation changed its operating name to bestchance Child Family Care in 2006.
1895 - c. 1972
The Burwood Boys' Home was located at 155 Warrigal Road, Burwood, Victoria (Building Demolished)
1940 - 1959
The Palms, a hostel associated with Burwood Boys' Home for accommodation of older boys, was situated at 1 New St, Hawthorn, Victoria (Building Still standing)