The Girls' Probationary School first opened at Woodville in 1901 as an alternative probationary home to which State wards could be sent rather than being placed in the government run Redruth Girls' Reformatory at Burra or the Catholic Girls' Reformatory at Kapunda.
During the late nineteenth century, the Salvation Army approached the government with the suggestion that it could take over the care of State children, particularly those who had been committed to a reformatory. The Government, however, preferred to keep control of its reformatories for Protestant children and instead negotiated with the Salvation Army to develop Probationary Schools. These Schools were to be intermediate Homes for children who had not been committed to a reformatory but were deemed to require stronger discipline and more training than they would receive in the Edwardstown Industrial School.
Most girls at the Girls' Probationary School were placed there for truancy or 'troublesome behaviour'. Some girls committed to the reformatories at Burra and Kapunda were moved to the Probationary School, but most came directly from Edwardstown Industrial School or were admitted privately.
The Girls' Probationary School, also known as The Haven, was run by the Salvation Army but under the absolute control of the State Children's Council and its successor the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board.
The School moved a number of times during its first 12 years. Girls were first accommodated at Tenterden, a two-storey residence at Woodville. When the lease expired in 1905, the School moved to larger premises at Beaumont. This property, known as Sea View House, was set on 12 acres (4.8 hectares) of extensively planted grounds and accommodated 32 girls. In 1910, after complaints about Probationary School girls 'lowering the moral tone' of the nearby Burnside Primary School, The Salvation Army moved the girls to a new residence at Norwood. Thirty girls were housed in this two-storey building. The majority were those charged as neglected by the State Children's Court.
In 1912, at the expiry of the Beaumont lease, the School moved to its final location at Florence Street, Fullarton. This larger house had twenty-one rooms, accommodated 50 girls and 6 staff members, and was regarded as a 'new star in The Salvation Army sky'. A coach house on the property was renovated in 1916 to make two schoolrooms.
In 1939 The Salvation Army magazine, The War Cry, reported that a number of Aboriginal girls had completed a three-year course of training in the domestic arts. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs subsidised the cost of the course and had enrolled a number of new girls each year. All resident girls were educated at the School.
In 1944 the Salvation Army informed the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board that it intended to close the School. In 1945 the Board ceased control of the Girls' Probationary School and removed it from the gazetted list of government approved private institutions. All State children were sent to other institutions. The Salvation Army, however, continued to take in girls privately and the Probationary School was renamed The Salvation Army Girls' Home, Fullarton.
15 January 2019
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/sa/SE01225
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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