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Family Service Project

Page history last edited by Louise Segafredo 14 years, 6 months ago

The BSL has been active in the area of helping families since its inception.



Brotherhood established an infant health centre in Brunswick Street (Needs confirmation - in media release for opening of refurbished Napier St in 1998)[1]



Family Service Project commenced in February as an experiment with one social worker working intensively with a group of ten families in Camp Pell who had many long-term and continually recurring problems (joint BSL/Housing Commission project designed to bring so-called ‘multi-problem’ families up to Housing Commission standards of acceptability in the short term).   Camp Pell was in Royal Park, the largest of Melbourne’s Parks.    The project was based on work with multi-problem families that had been developed by Family Service Units in the UK and similar projects in the USA and Holland.    “Certain units in Tyler Street Preston, were set aside to accommodate problem cases for a probationary period under the guidance of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.”    The long term aim was to assist the families to become self reliant; improve standards of childcare, housekeeping and rent payments; and, most important of all, to establish a more secure environment for the children by assisting the family to hold together.”



Family Service Project relocates 79 families from Camp Pell to East Preston  (May)  ?Source of figures?)


Victorian Government asked the BSL in June 1956 to extend the Family Service Project, subsidising it to approximately four-fifths of the total cost each year[2]



Family Service Project continues to be subsidised by the State Government through the Housing Commission with seven social workers working intensively with families [3]


BSL operates a community centre in a small Army hut at East Preston in co-operation with the Housing Commission as part of the Family Service Project.  Some activities are organised in conjunction with the East Preston Community Association but the premises are deteriorating [4]



New headquarters building at Fitzroy, with ground and first floors completed in October.  The ground floor housed a new Social Service Bureau, a waiting room and Chapel, with  a shower and change room for the Coolibah Club.  The first floor offices accommodated Social Workers of the Family Service Project, along with the Accountant and Organiser who had been in rented premises in East Melbourne. [5]



BSL consultation with American social worker Alice Overton to aid in assessment of services and clarification of the aims and methods of the Family Service Project[6]


Victorian Government advises the BSL that itsFamily Service Project subsidies for the Family Service Project would cease at the end of 1960 Victorian Government advises the BSL that its subsidies for the Family Service Project would cease at the end of 1960 [7]



Family Service project finalised.  Although the BSL continued to be involved in the provision of "Family Services" generally, continuing into the present day.



A year-long review of the BSL’s family support services began, reviewing the BSL’s involvement in children’s and family service provision (January 1987-January 1988)


  1. Media release [BSL_Napier_St_Cottage_Opening_MediaRelease_1992-2-28.pdf]
  2. BSL Annual Report 1958-1959 p.5
  3. BSL Annual Report 1956-1957 p.6
  4. BSL Annual Report 1958-1959 p.3
  5. BSL Annual Report 1957-1958 p.3.
  6. BSL Annual Report 1960-1961 p.5 (no numbering). See also Helen M. Hughes A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies, The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967, Pt.2 p.58 See also the article “Family Courts” by George T. Frohmader in Minnesota Welfare Vol.14 Fall, 1962 No.3-A pp.23-24: (From 24 Feb 2009) For Alice Overton obituary see Australian Social Work June 1988 Vol.41 No.2 pp.44-45. See also [Alice_Overton_&_Girls_Camps_for_Rehabilitation.pdf] This may provide some of the rationale for the BSL’s camps for disadvantaged children in the 1960’s.
  7. BSL Annual Report 1960-1961 p.5

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