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Children’s homes managed by Red Cross

How we investigate enquiries and concerns.

Since 1924, Red Cross has managed a number of respite care homes for children. Most of these closed before 1970.

Occasionally we get a complaint about how someone was treated at one of the homes. We take every complaint seriously and investigate and respond to complaints in a caring, compassionate and prompt way. Red Cross deals with complaints on a case-by-case basis even if we no longer have any records. If there is a complaint, first of all we listen and do everything we can to make sure people are heard and feel supported.

Red Cross has committed to join the National Redress Scheme to provide people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse with another way of seeking redress.

We have been working closely with the Government since February 2020 to undertake the necessary steps to join. We have signed an Intent to Join, Memorandum of Understanding and have completed other operational steps including onboarding training. Our application is currently with the Government to approve. We anticipate that approval will be granted soon.

For more information on the National Redress Scheme, please visit the National Redress Scheme website or call 1800 737 377.

National Redress Scheme

Is Red Cross part of the National Redress Scheme?
Red Cross has committed to join the National Redress Scheme. We have been working closely with the Government since February 2020 to undertake the necessary steps to join.  Our application is currently with the Government to approve. We anticipate that approval will be granted soon. 

When will Red Cross be officially a part of the National Redress Scheme?
The process of joining the Scheme includes several legislative and operational steps, which can take between three to six months to complete.   

We have been working closely with the Government since February 2020 to undertake the necessary steps to join. We have signed an Intent to Join, Memorandum of Understanding and have completed other operational steps including onboarding training. Our application is currently with the Government to approve. We anticipate that approval will be granted soon.

Why is Red Cross only just joining the National Redress Scheme?
Until now, Red Cross has had its own process for investigating and responding to complaints in a caring, compassionate and prompt way. However, we wanted to provide people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse with another way of seeking redress.   

Institutions must join the Scheme as soon as possible, but no later than 31 December 2020.  

What is the National Redress Scheme?
The National Redress Scheme provides support to people who experienced child sexual abuse in Australian institutions.  It was launched in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

The Scheme:

  • acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions
  • holds institutions accountable for this abuse, and
  • helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling services, a direct personal response, and a Redress payment.

For information on the National Redress Scheme, please visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.

How to apply to the National Redress Scheme
For more information on the National Redress Scheme please visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.

Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available for anyone applying for, or considering applying for redress. These services are confidential and can help explain the Scheme and who can apply.

About Red Cross Homes

How do I get records about someone in a home managed by Red Cross? 
You can email privacy@redcross.org.au. All requests will be managed by our archivist and treated as requests for access to personal information under the Privacy Act 1988. While we’ll do our best to help you, it’s important to understand that records for many of these institutions no longer exist.

Why don’t you have better records from homes you managed? 
With the passage of time, most organisations that managed homes for children in decades past have few or no remaining records. Red Cross has some remaining records for some homes it operated in New South Wales. 

How do I find out what homes I might have been in?
Find & Connect is a resource for people who, as children, were in out-of-home care in Australia. It contains a listing of many homes that were historically operated by a number of organisations and institutions. You can access it at findandconnect.gov.au.

Do you still run homes for children? 
We have one program which has a residential component that targets people under the age of 18. The Young Parents Program in NSW has a residence for young parents and their children, funded by the NSW Government.

What is your process for responding to claims of mistreatment at a Red Cross home?
Protecting children is critically important to us. Red Cross deals with complaints on a case-by-case basis even if we no longer have any records. If there is a complaint, first of all we listen and do everything we can to make sure people are heard and feel supported. Where there is evidence to support the complaint, we will sincerely apologise and agree on appropriate compensation.

By joining the National Redress Scheme there will be an alternative way in which a complaint can be brought in regard to a person’s treatment at a Red Cross home. Where claims are brought through the Redress Scheme applicants would not have to deal with Red Cross directly unless they wanted to.

Current child protection arrangements

What processes do you have in place to protect children now?
We are committed to supporting child wellbeing and safety and protecting children in our work.  We embed a child safe organisational culture across our work, by: 

  • maintaining a Child Protection Policy, Child Protection Code of Conduct and program risk assessments, which are reviewed and updated regularly.
  • managing the risk of employing or engaging persons who may pose a danger to the safety or wellbeing of children through Working with Child Checks, Police Checks and other screening mechanisms.
  • providing training on the knowledge and skills on how to keep children safe and minimise risks.
  • providing easy ways and support to report child protection concerns and take action in response to children’s safety and wellbeing
  • requiring contractors and partner organisations to apply child protection standards in their activity with Red Cross 
  • having zero tolerance for any form of child abuse, neglect or exploitation, and having sound and confidential mechanisms for reporting any child protection concerns to the relevant government authorities.
  • working to embed the National Child Safe Principals.

Children's homes operated/managed by Red Cross

Berida Junior Red Cross Home, NSW
Years of operation: 1951–74
Type of care: Temporary care (with school) to school aged children whose families were experiencing difficulties. Girls (1950) joined by boys (1972).
Available records: A few photographs of the house and grounds only.

Cudgelo Junior Red Cross Home, NSW
Years of operation: 1928–1951
Type of care: Boys cared for over the summer.
Available records: No records available.

Kippilaw and Juong Red Cross homes, NSW
Years of operation: 1940–1960 and 1925-1944
Type of care: For children from tuberculosis affected families. Both boys only.
Available records: No records available.

Eleanor Mackinnon Home, NSW
Years of operation: 1945–1997
Type of care: Residential program for boys – 5 to 12 years 1951 then boys and girls 5 to 8 years 1987–1997.
Available records: Patchy client records held in Melbourne archive.

Shuna, Leura, NSW
Years of operation: 1924–1951
Type of care: Preventorium for daughters of ex-servicemen.
Available records: No records available.

Margate, QLD
Years of operation: 1945–1975
Type of care: Home for convalescing children and emergency care while mothers were in hospital.
Available records: No records available.

Belltrees, Scone, NSW
Years of operation: 1942–1943
Type of care: Boys.
Available records: No records available.

Wongala, Turramurra, NSW
Years of operation: 1946–1952
Type of care: Boys.
Available records: No records available.

Linton, Yass, NSW  
Years of operation: 1943–1943
Type of care: Girls.
Available records: No records available.

Glen Mervyn House, Randwick, NSW  
Years of operation: Operating from 1940s to the present.
Type of care: Initially girls and younger boys, now home to the Young Parent’s Program from 1993.
Available records: Patchy records to 1993. Some staff records and fuller records for children. Held in Melbourne archive.

Ramsgate, NSW 
Years of operation: 1925–1951?
Type of care: Seaside preventorium for boys.
Available records: No records available.

Welfare House, VIC
Years of operation: 1945/46–1952
Type of care: Initially for hospitalised mothers and then for mothers and children travelling from interstate for polio or cerebral palsy treatment.
Available records: No records available.

Kooringa, Malvern, VIC, later Lady Dugan Home. Leased to Department of Health as a children’s home and ceased Red Cross operations in 1970.
Years of operation: 1945/46–1970
Type of care: Convalescent ex-service women, then convalescent mothers and babies, then ex-servicemen’s children generally as a result of the mothers being hospitalised.
Available records: No records available.

Dunant House, SA
Years of operation: 1970–1995
Type of care: Temporary Youth Housing at Brompton.
Available records: No records available.

Lady Lawley Cottage, WA
Years of operation: 1945 (Red Cross managed) - present
Type of care: Disability Institution, Home, Convalescent Home, Care Provider, Temporary Care, Respite Care.
Available records: Recent records for children available.

Junior Red Cross Home, Henley Beach, SA  
Years of operation: 1933 - 1946
Type of care: A convalescent and holiday home for children undergoing treatment at the Adelaide Children's Hospital. Run by the Red Cross, it accommodated up to 20 children. In 1946 it became known as the Lady Hore-Ruthven Home.
Available records: No records available.

Then, Lady Hore-Ruthven Junior Red Cross Home, Henley Beach, SA
Years of operation: 1946-59
Type of care: A convalescent Home for up to 50 children. Closed in 1959 and became known as the Glenelg Red Cross Home.
Available records: No records available.

Then, Junior Red Cross Home, Glenelg, SA
Years of operation: 1959-68
Type of care: Operated as a convalescent Home for up to 35 children recuperating from illness or in need of emergency accommodation.
Available records: No records available.