Weroona was established at Woodford by the Child Welfare Department in 1946. It opened as temporary accommodation for preschool-aged children in 1946. From 1948 it housed 30 boys, aged from 7 to 15 years of age. Most of the residents could not get foster placements because of a shortage of foster homes for their age group. Weroona was destroyed in the December 1957 Blue Mountains bushfires and was rebuilt and reopened in March 1959. By the 1980s Weroona housed teenaged boys, aged 13 to 18. It closed in 1984.
Weroona opened as temporary accommodation for preschool-aged children in 1946. From 1948 it housed 30 boys, aged from seven to 15 years of age. Most of the residents could not get foster placements because of a shortage of foster homes for their age group.
Weroona was destroyed by bushfire in November 1957, which temporarily increased accommodation pressure at many other children's homes. A replacement building was opened by the Minister for Child Welfare on 7 March 1959, according to the 1959 Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, with space for 'thirty school age boys' of 8 to 12 years, 'of good intelligence'.
According to the 1964 Annual Report:
Weroona is an establishment set in fine mountain scenery at Woodford. It caters for 30 boys of school age and it has been possible to build up a group of boys who on the whole are at rather better levels of intelligence and stability than the majority of male wards of corresponding age.
A school for boys of primary standard in education is set in the grounds and High School boys go out to Katoomba. One boy this year gained a place at the selective James Ruse Agricultural High School.
By 1970, the internal school had closed down, and a 1970 publication of the Child Welfare Department claimed that 'the majority of these boys would be immediately placeable if there were sufficient foster homes available'.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the Department of Child Welfare and Social Welfare for the year ended 30 June, Government Printer, Sydney, 1970/71-1972-73. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; Report of the Department of Youth and Community Services for the year ended 30 June, New South Wales government, 1976-1988. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; Annual Report: Department of Youth and Community Services, Government Printer, Sydney, 1980/81-1986/87; Homes and Orphanages Listings, Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), https://clan.org.au/homes-and-orphanages/; McLean, Donald, Children In Need: An account of the administration and functions of the Child Welfare Department, New South Wales, Australia: with an examination of the principles involved in helping deprived and wayward children, Government Printer, Sydney, 1955, 173 pp; A scene from the Department's film, "The Long Climb", illustrates the variety of tasks in which training is provided at the sheltered workshop at Werrington Park [Image], Date: c. 1970; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 23 March 2011, Last modified: 9 January 2019