Fatima Home for Children, in Toowoomba, was operated by the Order of the Sisters of Mercy. It was licensed on 5 September 1974. Loretta Cottage was established 1981/82 and closed 11 May 1984. Fatima ceased to operate as a residential facility in December 1995.
The Sisters of Mercy provide the following short history for Fatima Home for Children:
In 1974 the Sisters of Mercy expanded their service to Toowoomba and joined with the Toowoomba Diocese and the St Vincent de Paul Society in opening the Fatima Family Centre which provided a local response to the growing numbers of children in South-West Queensland who needed alternative care placements. Initially a family group home model with houseparents caring for small numbers of children in residential cottages, Fatima's programs expanded during the 1980s in response to changing needs. By the early 1990s, Fatima had five programs offering a continuum of care - family support, emergency placements for children under 12, foster care, adolescent residential placements and an independent living program.
Today Mercy Family Services - Fatima Centre, provide a counselling and reunification program to children, young people and their families involved with the child protection system.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/A-Piece-of-the-Story-Directory-of-Catholic-Records-.pdf. p.74-75.; Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.45..
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 8 June 2011, Last modified: 11 June 2014