The Northam Group Home was established in 1980, providing government-run emergency and short-term accommodation for up to eight Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children from babies to young teenagers, with some long-term admissions. In 2002, the Northam Group Home closed due to staff shortages, but it was open in 2004, possibly closing permanently in 2005.
Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.384-386) show that the Northam Group Home, which opened in October 1983, was originally intended to provide emergency accommodation for young children. However, by 1983 the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) reported that of the 76 children admitted since Northam opened there had been: 48 teenagers, 20 primary-school age children; 5 pre-school age children; and 3 babies or toddlers. Most of the teenagers were in the lower years of high school.
The DCW reported in 1983 (Signposts, p.385) that the children admitted to Northam Group Home were 'usually not highly delinquent but have family, educational and social problems and until coming to the Group Home are prone to delinquency. The Group Home team charts an individual programme for each child, and strives to provide substitute family care with the accent on stability and security. Every effort is made for these children to understand their past and present situation and to prepare them for independent living.'
In 1984 another two bedrooms were added to the Northam Group Home, and there were 5 children resident in that year. By 2002 the Home was closed due to staff shortages but it had re-opened by 2004. It is likely to have closed permanently by 2005.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.385-386', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 18 November 2014