|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Lutheran Children's Home (also known as Lutheran Peace Memorial Children's Home) officially opened on 22nd October, 1950 at 760 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills. The Home was established to care for children of widows who migrated to Australia. In 1954 there were 38 children aged from 4 - 14 of 11 nationalities, mainly from Latvian, Estonian, German, Russian, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian and Polish backgrounds.
In 1952 the Home was registered as a charitable organisation, allowing it to obtain grants or subsidies from the Hospitals and Charities Commission of Victoria. The application was approved on the condition a number of improvements were to be made to the Home. A decision was made to sell the home and buy a larger property at 52 Sackville Street, Kew, which opened on 5th May 1955. The Home was a two storey building with two downstairs dormitories for girls and two dormitories upstairs for boys. At the time of the opening three-quarters of the children were Lutheran; about half of these were children of immigrant parents.
In May 1956 the Home was gazetted (Gazette No 497) as an approved Children's Home under the Children's Welfare Act 1954. As the number of migrant children decreased, the home gradually began taking in other children needing care, including children who had been made wards of the State. The Home had a total bed accommodation for 42 children between the ages of 4 to 14 (raised to 15 for boys attending school and 15 and above for girls attending school in the mid 1960's).
Renovations were made to the Home in 1967/68 with approximately 32 children in care. By this stage the Home mainly looked after state wards, along with some private placements of children. Holiday Hosts, which were Lutheran families living in the city and country, were approved to take the children to their homes over the school holiday period.
The Lutheran Teenage Family Care Home officially opened on 28th March, 1971. Located at 755 Station Street Box Hill, the Home accommodated up to eight children who were too old to remain at the Lutheran Home in Kew. The Home allowed for the continued care of teenage children as they grew older enabling them to complete their schooling to eventually find employment or go on to higher education.
In 1973 the Lutheran Church decided to move to family group home care and proposed the closure of the Kew congregate care home and the acquisition of four or five cottage homes in the Blackburn/Mitcham area.
By February, 1976 four new cottage homes had been opened in Doncaster East, Mitcham, Nunawading and Blackburn South. Each cottage home cared for five or six children and brothers and sisters were always kept together.
In 1980 the Teenage Care Home at 755 Station Street, Box Hill was closed and converted to become an administrative and welfare centre for Lutheran Social Services.
In the 1980s, it was decided to shift the Lutheran Church's resources to the area of Glenelg in south-west Victoria. This resulted in the creation of Glenelg Foster Care in 1983. The reallocation of services took time from 1983, with the last remaining cottage in Melbourne closing in 1988. This allowed children who had already been placed in the Home to remain there until they turned 18. The date of 1983 however has been assigned as the end date of the Lutheran Childrens Home.