The Receiving Home, Darwin, was opened on 15 July 1957 at Mitchell Street, Darwin. It replaced the Fannie Bay Receiving Home which was destroyed in a fire in May 1957. Formerly a departmental residence, the Home was adapted to accommodate a larger number of children. It was initially established as a temporary Home while plans were being made to build a new Receiving Home.
Most children were received into the Home as soon as they were taken into care. After they were committed in court to the care of the Director of Child Welfare, many remained in the Home while awaiting placement in another institution or into foster care. The ages of children cared for in the Home ranged from babies to teenagers. The average number of children in the Home at one time was 14.
At times the Home also provided a refuge for expectant and nursing mothers who were without support or accommodation. Destitute women were also given temporary shelter at the Home.
The 1958-59 report of the Welfare Branch noted the following problems with the Home:
'Physical facilities at the Home are most inadequate and the need for a new building is urgent. The present building is no longer considered to be of sufficient value to warrant expenditure on any major repairs and the fact that members of both sexes are sometimes accommodated in this one building gives rise to difficult problems in providing satisfactory sleeping quarters. It is recognised that it is undesirable to bring uncontrollable children into contact with destitute and neglected children, but this has been necessary up to date because no alternative accommodation exists.'
In July 1961 younger children were moved into the first stage of the new Receiving Home, which later became known as Dundas House. Older children remained at the original Mitchell Street premises until they were moved to a temporary building nearby which was called the Adolescent Receiving Home. The Receiving Home, Darwin was then closed.
13 April 2017
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nt/YE00180
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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