The Industrial School was opened in 1877 in Trecynon, Aberdare in a building which had originally been intended as a hospital for the Union, but had proved to be unsatisfactory; the school was intended as an institution where pauper children could live apart from adult paupers and receive training in certain trades. A farm was attached to the school to provide produce for the school as well as training in gardening and farming for the pupils. The school became known as the Training, rather than Industrial, School about 1895. About 1904, four cottage homes were built opposite the Training School, and between 1909 and 1913 scattered cottage homes, each with a foster mother looking after a small group of children, were established at Cwmbach, Hirwaun, Abercwmboi, Bargoed, and Glannant Street, Aberdare. A receiving home for children was built in Llewellyn Street, adjacent to the Training School, in 1909. Between 1912 and 1919 a new site at Llwydcoed, Aberdare, was developed as cottage homes for children, with an administrative block and receiving home. The Training School was converted for use as a subsidiary workhouse for adults.
Responsibility for the Children's Homes passed to Glamorgan County Council in 1930. Between February 1941 and November 1944, the children in the Llwydcoed Homes were dispersed to the Cottage Homes at Bridgend and Church Village, Pontypridd, and the Llwydcoed Homes were used to accommodate adult evacuees from institutions in London, Plymouth and Southampton.
The Homes at Llwydcoed continued in use until 1970.