Uniting Church in Australia

The Uniting Church in Australia is a national, unincorporated association of councils, each of which has responsibility for functions in the church. The councils are congregations (local), presbyteries (regional), synods (state) and an assembly (national).

Dalmar Children’s Home

From 1893, Dalmar Children’s Home began its life as the Central Mission Home for Neglected Children in Woolloomooloo, New South Wales.

In 1900, the New South Wales Government established and opened Dalmar Children’s Home situated at Dalmar Street, on the corner of Parramatta Road, Croydon NSW between 1900 and 1923.

From 1923, Dalmer Children’s Home moved to 3 Dalmar Place, Carlingford NSW from 1923 where a babies home and cottages were established. By the 1930s it held more than 150 babies and children.

Dalmar Children’s Home has previously also been known as:

  • Dalmar;
  • Dalmar Out of Home Care;
  • Wesley Dalmar Services;
  • Dalmar Children’s Homes;
  • Dalmar Child and Family Care;
  • Dalmar Children’s Home;
  • Dalmar Methodist Children’s Home;
  • Dalmar Babies Home;
  • Wesley Dalmar;
  • Central Mission Home for Neglected Children; and
  • Wesley Dalmar Children’s Services.

Dalmar Children’s Home originally operated as a children’s home by the Central Methodist Mission. The reasons why children were admitted to Dalmar were many and varied. Some required only short-term accommodation due to temporary disruptions to their normal family life. Others were admitted as long-term residents. Some children were placed voluntarily by their parents or guardians, while others were found abandoned and yet others were referred by the courts.

From 1962 Dalmar began running foster care and adoption programs.

Dalmar Children’s Home stopped serving as a children’s home in the 1980s, but, as Wesley Dalmar Children’s Services and part of Wesley Mission, continues to operate foster care programs and residential care facilities.

History of Abuse at Dalmar Children’s Home

Like many other institutions around Australia, Dalmar has also been involved in allegations of child sexual and physical abuse. In the 2005 Senate References Committee inquiry titled “Children in Institutional Care”, it was indicated that Dalmar had received by 2004 allegations from 13 people concerning sexual and physical abuse or unduly harsh treatment during their time with Dalmar.

One particular individual who spent time at Dalmar along with her siblings between 1954 to 1961, describes how she and her siblings were physically and sexually abused by various employees at Dalmar. This included the institution’s dentist who would rape her on numerous occasions and the superintendent who would regularly beat the children if their mother was in arrears with her payments to Dalmar. In 2014, she was able to tell her story about the abuse to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Dalmar was mentioned in the Lost Innocents Report (2001) as an institution involved in the migration of children to Australia.

Wesley Mission has an Aftercare Program, for people who once lived at Dalmar and other children’s homes, or were in its foster care programs. This service helps people to access their files and provides an opportunity to talk about experiences in care. Dalmar also provides a free assessment and treatment program through Wesley Private Hospital’s psychology service.

We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today.

Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.

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