According to the Annual Report of 1944, the Department opened the Cottage Home because of difficulties placing children:
'The establishment of the home is in the nature of an experiment, but, owing to the abnormal conditions prevailing and the fact that the home has only been opened since November last, it is not yet possible to assess its value, but it is hoped it will solve some of the difficulties associated with the placement of children committed to the Care of the Department.'
Unfortunately, the Annual Report does not explain the nature of the difficulties.
The Department would have preferred to build a modern home but due to the war there was not enough money for this. Instead it bought a large brick house in Edward Street, Glebe and made structural changes and renovations to it, including putting in a hot water system. It had room for between 16 and 18 children with accommodation for the Matron and staff.
By June 1944, the Department had appointed the Matron but had difficulties finding enough staff because of a labour shortage created by the war. This meant that the Home could not accommodate more than 11 children. The Department appointed an auxiliary committee of women who obtained goods for the home and offered their advice. The Department's inspecting nurses also visited the home.
In 1949, the Receiving Home Keeper at the Cottage Home was the daughter of the Receiving Home Keeper at the Receiving Home, Hobart. In 1950, shortly after her mother retired, the daughter became the Receiving Home Keeper there.
In the year ending 1950, the Home moved to Cavell Street, West Hobart where it later became Malmesbury Girls' Home. Shortly after that the house in Edward Street became Rochebank Hostel.
09 December 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00300
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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