Signposts - An Overview

Signposts aims to help people who were placed in residential, out of home care as children – or who have lived in supported accommodation as a young person – find records and other documents related to their time in those facilities. 

Signposts contains information and contact details for more than 200 facilities that provided some sort of residential, out-of-home care in Western Australia from 1920, sometimes even earlier.  Where possible, historical information about the role or activities of the facilities is included in the entry.  The Department for Child Protection’s predecessors had an active role in managing 78 of these facilities, with the remainder being the responsibility of non-government organisations.

In addition to the entries for individual facilities, Signposts gives contact details for organisations that had a significant role in the management of a number of facilities and programs.  Some of these organisations continue to play an active role in the provision of services to children and families.  These listings are: 

  • The Anglican Church and Anglicare

  • The Australian Churches of Christ Indigenous Ministries

  • The Baptist Union

  • The Catholic Church (MercyCare and many other religious orders) and Djooraminda (which is now part of CentreCare)

  • Mofflyn (on behalf of the Uniting Church agencies, including the previous Methodist and Presbyterian Churches)

  • Parkerville Children’s Home Inc

  • The Salvation Army and Salvation Army Crossroads West

  • Yorganop

Signposts also outlines the purpose and contact details for 33 facilities currently and previously funded through the Commonwealth/State National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) [previously known as the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) for young people].

The information, which is included in Signposts, comes from the agencies themselves or from the Annual Reports and more recent administrative files of the Department for Child Protection and its predecessors.  Occasionally, published memoirs have added extra detail.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, it is not always possible to ‘get it entirely right’ when delving back into old records.  Signposts should therefore be considered a guide to the fuller story – a helpful pointer along the way to discovering more about the past. 

Signposts  starts out by suggesting how this journey of discovery might begin, and the other sources of information that might be followed up in the section, “Where are My Records?”  It then goes on to explain something about the different “models” of out of home care.  In the language of the Department, these are “Models of Out of Home Placement”. 

The next section, “Non-Government Agencies and Facilities” groups the facilities around significant organisations so that you can see at a glance which facilities were aligned to which organisation.  Following that, “Other Non-Government Facilities” lists facilities that existed independently of any larger organisation and “Departmental Facilities” are grouped together.

“Support Agencies” for people who have been in out of home care are then listed, along with their contact details and some information about their roles.

Signposts then provides a listing of “Records Held by the Department for Child Protection”; “Records of the Education Department”; “Police Records”; and “Prison Records”. 

Those sections conclude the preliminary information provided by Signposts

The next section, “List of Facilities” contains the information that you will need to learn more about the facility in which you are interested and to begin your search for records.  In this section, the facilities are not grouped – they are listed alphabetically.  Where an alternative name is known, it too is listed with a reference back to the main entry.  This section contains all the facilities in Signposts, with the exception of the NAHA/SAAP facilities, which have their own section at the end of Signposts.

Only one non-residential facility, Koorana, has been included in Signposts.  Koorana was included because of its importance to many children who were in residential care.