St Anthony's Home - Kew, Victoria

Black and white photo of Sister Martin Burns with a class. St Anthony's late 1940s.

1922 - St Anthony’s Home for Little Children, Kew
St Anthony’s was established in August 1922 to deal with overcrowding at the Babies Home at Broadmeadows. Children thought to be too young to be placed in an institution with older children needed care suited to their age. Children stayed at St Anthony’s between the age of three and the time to start school.

1943 - St Anthony’s Home, Kew
In 1943 the Catholic Social Services Bureau requested St Anthony’s to cater only for boys between the ages of three and six. By the mid 1950s girls, if part of a sibling group, were also accepted at St Anthony’s. The large building was redeveloped so that children could stay within their own smaller living group. Later a house was purchased that was to become the first ‘cottage home’ in the Catholic welfare system.

1975 - St Anthony’s Family Service, Footscray
In the mid seventies, after a successful pilot study a decision was taken to relocate St Anthony’s to Footscray so that children and western suburbs families at risk of losing their children could be supported. Intensive work with families enabled many parents to safely care for their children without the children being removed.