Bunbury Group Home (Canowindra)
Years of OperationPre-1974 and remains open in 2010 as a hostel
Role Of FacilityResidential child care on a family model
Sponsoring AgencyDepartmental - predessors to the current Department for Child Protection
Address(es)Gelorup, a suburb of Bunbury
AliasesCanowindra Group Home, Canowindra Hostel
Brief HistoryGroup Homes could be developed relatively inexpensively, so they were able to be located within country towns close to the child’s home of origin, which was seen to be particularly advantageous. “The involvement and access to parents by these placements is often a major step in the rehabilitation of a family group.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1979). For notes on a general history of these facilities, see the section on Group Homes at the beginning of Signposts.

“Canowindra group home functions have been extended to temporary care and conferencing of children, including increased parental involvement in this process. Currently a foster programme is being developed which will be based on Canowindra with the intention that this facility can be assisted by a voluntary association, as well as provide the focus for foster parent training in this district” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1977).

“A group home at Gelorup has been renovated and extended to provide accommodation for 10 children.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1974).

The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes Canowindra as a ‘scattered group home’ (ie. “a family group home whose grounds do not adjoin those of another family group home, or other residential child care establishment, operated by the same enterprise.”).

The Canowindra Group Home, “which accommodates children in need of care and protection, continues to provide a necessary residential service. In addition, this facility and the Group Home parents, offer a unique opportunity for assessment of special needs which is of great benefit for future planning for appropriate care of the children. ‘Canowindra’ also serves as the venue for an Annual Xmas Party for foster children and parents from the surrounding districts, which provides the opportunity for staff, children, foster parents and parents to gather on an informal basis and enjoy the Festive Season.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1980).

“Canowindra Group Home for children in Gelorup continues to maintain its high standard of care. Demands indicate that in the future, a further facility of this type is needed in Bunbury.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1981).

“Canowindra Group Home provided an excellent service and allowed localised care and planning to effectively cater for children’s needs within Bunbury, without disrupting their school and social affiliations.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1982).

“In the area of child care, Canowindra Group Home maintains its central role of excellent alternate child care. This facility is crucial in assisting staff to manage cases where child care is an issue and its availability assists localised prevention…as well as ready parental access.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).

In 1986, Canowindra provided facilities for primary school aged children.
In 1996, the Canowindra Group Home “was converted into a hostel for short to medium term accommodation for children at risk.” (Family and Children’s Services, Annual Report 1995/96).

Canowindra was being refurbished at the time of reporting in 2004. (Internal Memo Manager Hostels Group to A/Manager Information Support Services, Department for Community Development, July 19th 2004).
RecordsCase records for young people placed by the Department may reside with the Department for Child Protection.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888