The unmet needs of children in Invercargill led to Presbyterian Support Otago opening Cameron Children’s Home in 1917. The Southland Association of Presbyterian Support was formed in 1919 and took over the operation of this Home. From this, residential childcare continued as the main area of work over the next 40 years.

Although the care needs of older people had been apparent since the mid 1930’s, it wasn’t until May 1938 Cameron Home (now redundant as a children’s home) was reopened as a Home for “elderly ladies”.  Since then, our first purpose-built rest home/hospital at Peacehaven opened early in 1954, and the range of services offered to older people has substantially expanded to multiple homes across the region.

The introduction of the domestic purposes benefit reduced the number of children needing residential care and our last children’s home closed in 1989. There was still a desperate need for social services to support children, young people and their families, and in 1991 we were approved as CFSS & Community Service and since have expanded to offer a wide range of services under Family Works.


1917 Southland Committee formed and Cameron Home opened.

1919 Gladstone Home opened and Southland becomes a separate Association (1 July).

1919 Establishment of Presbyterian Support Southland (as PSSA Southland).

1933 Association adopts new constitution.

1934 Allison Home opened. Gladstone Home closed.

1948 Inglenook Home in East Gore officially opened 10 April. Cameron converted to home for elderly women.

1951 First full-time field officer appointed. Foundation stones for Peacehaven laid.

1952 Sutherland Home gifted to Association by the Sutherland Family.

1954 Cameron Home closed and residents transferred to Peacehaven. Peacehaven Rest Home/Hospital and rental cottages officially opened on 24 February.

1956 Official opening of Resthaven/Hospital on 17 February. New office established at 14 Don Street.

1957 First children admitted to Sutherland Home. Norwood Hostel for girls opened on 3 June.

1958 Association contributes to establishment of home for intellectually handicapped women, Corstophine, in Dunedin.

1961 Allison Home closed and boys transferred to Tweed Street Home. Highfield Children's Home opened. Peacehaven Chapel opened.

1964 Tweed Street Boys' Home closed. Inglenook Home in East Gore closed.

1965 New Inglenook Home opened in Ardwick Street, Gore.

1967 New office building established in grounds of First Church, Tay Street, officially opened on 26 May.

1970 Norwood Hostel closed. Residential extension to Resthaven.

1971 Iona wing at Peacehaven commissioned.

1973 PAM Opportunity Shop established in conjunction with Anglicans and Methodists.

1975 Vickery Court transferred to the Association, effective from 1 September. Six flats at Gore opened. Highfield closed as children's home.

1976 Highfield converted for use by physically disabled. Victoria Memorial taken over.

1977 Walmsley House officially opened on 19 March. Hospital wing added to Vickery Court. Part-time Homes Chaplain appointed. 6 Cottages built at Resthaven.

1980 Inglenook closed as home for children.

1981 Second group of six flats at Resthaven officially opened on 28 March.

1982 Wyndham Maternity Hospital leased from Southland Hospital Board and converted for use as old people's home.

1984 IHC Hostel Kindhaven purchased. Name changed to Presbyterian Support Services Southland.

1986 Victoria Memorial Home reopened on Ruru Street in reconstructed Kindhaven Hostel. Second-storey addition to office building opened. First full-time Homes Chaplain appointed.

1989 Wakatipu Home, Frankton, officially opened on 1 December. Sutherland Home closed.

1990 Wyndham Home purchased from Southland Area Health Board and completely renovated and modernized. Iona Wing converted to a secure dementia area. 

1991 Approved as CFSS & Community Service (S.396 403 CYPF Act 1989). Foster Care, counselling, social Work (Southland Wide). First seven cottages at Frankton occupied. 

1993 Recreation room added to Wakatipu Home. Supportlink established (initially as “Home Support Service”).

1995 Temper Tamers (replaced by Cool Families in 2012). Psychological services (finished 2015). Remaining 11 cottages completed at Frankton Court.

1996 Vickery Court refurbished/SupportLink extended to Queenstown/Presbyterian Support Name adopted.

1998 Buddy Programme Invercargill. Grief groups (on hold since 2012). Wyndham Home handed over to the community.

1999 Resthaven rebuild completed/Walker Trust cottages taken over/Peacehaven  Stage I and II rebuild completed.

2000 Peacehaven stage III completed/Victoria Memorial Home sold.

2001 Buddy Programme Queenstown. Vickery Court Hospital rebuild opened/Resthaven extended including a dementia care area.

2003 Parenting Programme. Live-in Support Situation (finished 2015). Old Vickery Hospital converted to Rest home/Iona Hospital extended.

2004 The first of 19 Townhouses to be built at Peacehaven occupied/Iona Resthome level dementia moved to two new 10-bed units/Vickery Court Resthome Stage I and II of rebuild completed.

2005 Rebranded Family Works. Strengthening Families Service. Demand Management. Care & Protection Assessments for Child, Youth and Families Invercargill (changed to service unit contract in 2009). Highfield Home closed, remaining residents to Vickery Court/remaining townhouses at Peacehaven finished, another seven to be built.

2006 Peacehaven last seven townhouses finished/Vickery Court Rest home rebuild finished. Supportlink extended to Gore. Buddy Programme Gore.

2007 Family Start Programme. Old Iona building redeveloped as Café/Recreation Centre. Name change “Aged Care” to “Services for Older People”. Training for enrolled nurses in Southland.

2010 Dedicated Intake Service. Wakatipu Home transferred to new owners.

2011 Young Parents Service. Incredible Years Programme. Central Office moved from Tay Street to 181 Spey Street.

2012 Cool Families Programme started. Peacehaven Walkway opened. Fresh Start Contract.

2013 Circle of Security. Out of Gate.

2015 Family Dispute Resolution. AMGR8.

2018 Cool Families Programme finished.