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Barnardos Australia

Barnardos Australia has built relationships based on relations between the children, the younger people, families and the entire community.

Barnardos Australia is among the foremost child protection charities working in Australia. For over 130 years, Barnardos Australia has continuously been at the forefront in terms of child protection, getting real and lasting solutions for children who are in desperate need in Australia. Barnardos Australia believes that all children merit being nurtured and loved.

The work being done by Barnardos Australia particularly deals with the abuse prevention and entry into quality care. Barnardos runs family centers for children, permanency programs targeting children out-of-home care, advocacy work and adolescent services.


The long history of Barnardos Australia started in 1921 with the initial migration of children coming from the United Kingdom. It takes its direction and values from the work that was began by Dr Thomas Barnardo, an Irish philanthropist, founder and also director of several homes n London for poor children. Since the establishment of the very first Barnardo's home in the year 1870 to his death, nearly 100,000 had been saved, trained and accorded a better life.

The agencies run by the Barnardos family in the UK, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand have all adapted to the local conditions. Although incorporated in 1995 in Australia, Barnardos Australia still keeps its links to the international family of Barnardos.

In 1966 its name got changed from Dr Barnardo's Homes to Dr Barnardo in Australia and in the same year, a Family Care Service got established. Between 1968 and 1978, a number of homes were opened and several later closed including those in Ryde, Canberra and Kiraville.

The year 1978 witnessed the Homemaker Service currently known as Special Neighbours initiated at Auburn whilst Kids Friends began in Canberra Centers. Essentially, these were the origins of the Barnardos Children's Family Centers.

The period from 1970s has witnessed more emphasis being put on family-based child placements. Now there are no children's homes for those children below twelve. An increased effort has been made to get permanent solutions for the child within his or her own family or in case that is not feasible, with independent living or a substitute family.

With the setting up in 1983 of the management team, there has been a rigorous effort towards expanding services which had prevented child entry to care. 2 new Children's Family Centres were set up at Penrith (1990) while the other was located in the South Coast (1999). Each comes with a variety of support services, which include crisis plus childcare, respite foster care; semi-supported child accommodation; groups visiting services; and youth support.

Barnardos has been influential towards the development of Temporary Family Care. This is a crisis and respite foster initiative towards the prevention of premature children removal from their families. The initiative started at the Waverley Centre and the succeeding programs started in Children's Family Centres located in Penrith (1989); Auburn (1984); and the South Coast and Canberra (1990).

For those children who are not able to live at their homes, an adoption and permanency program has been set up. This program is referred to as Find-a-Family (FAF). The FAF Centres are located in Canberra, Sydney, South Coast and Central Coast, NSW.

From the late 1980s to the 1990s, modifications in social conditions that effect adolescents implied that added emphasis was being placed on the adolescent programs. In 1988, Hohnen House was opened, in 1987 Kingston House (to cater for Indo-Chinese refugees) and in 1990 a streetwork program began. All these programs have now expanded to include rural services.

Barnardos Australia contributes extensively to State and Federal debate on the general welfare of disadvantaged young people and children. Expansion of specialist expertise is been utilized towards improving welfare services for children across Australia.

In 1997 Barnardos startedThe LAC Project that had been modified after the Looking After Children (LAC) case management system to suit Australian conditions and to make it accessible to other welfare agencies in several other states. It also got involved in the project 'Children in Need' tool for assessment and in the development of child welfare data collection.

Barnardos began in 2000 to operate in rural NSW and is developing service network. In November 2012 Barnardos Australia formalized its obligation towards the enhancement of the lives of indigenous children through the signing in Sydney of the Barnardos Statement of Reconciliation.

The Barnardos Australia Board

The Barnardos Australia Board is answerable to stakeholders and members for performance and is in charge for developing policies and strategies which shape service delivery and future direction, whilst at the same time developing and maintaining Barnardos values. It also make that these values get reflected in stakeholders organizational practice and behavior.

Organisation and Governance Charter

The Governance Charter got approved by the full Board of Barnardos Australia in November, 2013. The Barnardos' corporate governance is in reference to the methodology adopted by Barnardos' Board in terms of directing and leading the organization, organizational systems used and the procedures to be followed.

Barnardos Australia Board Vision, Mission & Values


Barnardos Australia has built relationships based on relations between the children, the younger people, families and the entire community. Barnardos advocates for young persons and children and contributes to the joint community knowledge about their respective issues.


All young people and children will have families that are caring where they could grow securely and fulfill their full potential. Young people, children and families will get valued and supported through quality services and communities that are engaged.


  • All young people children will have caring families, where they can grow securely and fulfill their full potential
  • Believe in keeping the young person and the child central
  • Strengthening families
  • Relating respectfully; working in partnership; encouraging active participation of all
  • Valuing our knowledge; sharing knowledge and continuing to enlarge expertise
  • Pursuing social justice; working towards empowering the disadvantaged and in opposing social injustice; guided by the recognized principles of fairness; effective, equal and comprehensive legal, civil, and industrial rights being maintained
  • Being persistent for positive change; working creatively towards making a real difference
  • Investing in the future, using knowledge and resources towards improving the future of Australian young people and children who are disadvantaged
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