• Organisation

Victorian Children's Aid Society


The Victorian Children’s Aid Society was established in 1920. It was formerly the Victorian Neglected Children’s Aid Society. It ran the Victorian Children’s Aid Home, located in Parkville until around 1966. In 1966 the Society moved the Home (which was renamed Swinburne House) and headquarters to Black Rock. From the 1970s, the Society expanded into family group homes, youth work, disability and foster care. The Victorian Children’s Aid Society became known as Family Focus in 1991.

The Victorian Children’s Aid Society was based in Leonard Street, Parkville, at the children’s Home which had been established in the early 1900s (by Selina Sutherland).

The Parkville Home was renamed Swinburne Lodge in 1957, after a former President of the Society, Pattie Deakin (wife of the former Prime Minister).

In 1966, the Society sold the Parkville property and moved to the suburb of Black Rock. The children’s Home was renamed again, this time to Swinburne House. The Victorian Children’s Aid Society also operated a number of family group homes in bayside Melbourne, including in Bentleigh East and Parkdale.

In the 1980s, the Society expanded its operations into youth work, disability care and foster care. In 1987, the Society established the Alan Marshall centre for Disabled Children and Adolescents, located at 6 Seaview Crescent, Black Rock. It also ran the Norman Craig Lodge, a hostel in Black Rock for adolescents.

By 1984, all children in the care of the Society were in either group homes or foster care.

In 1991, the Victorian Children’s Aid Society merged with Foster Care Westernport, to create a new organisation called Family Focus.

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