The Probationary Farm Home, Toronto, on the Central Coast, was established by the State Children's Relief Department in 1909. It was a home for boys who were defined as having extremely serious problems of a moral, sexual or psychological nature, and who, it was thought, should not be placed with other children. It operated for a few years, closing around 1912.
This was not an institution, but rather was a place where a number of boys were sent to live with private farmers. The farmers received 10 shillings a week for supervising them and the boys were expected to labour with the farmers. Special reports on their behaviour were sent to the Minister.
According to the State Children Relief Board Annual Report of 1911 Toronto Probationary Farm Home was a home for:
The accommodation and training of sexually depraved and mentally and physically unsound wards, who would otherwise be a menace to the welfare of ordinary children. The homes are for boys only, and the cases sent there represent the small proportion of children, largely degenerate, who are found in every community and are not amenable to ordinary routine conditions; hence special provision has to be made for them with the object of fitting them, if possible, for independent situations later.
It resembled other farm homes at Dora Creek, Branxton, Rydalmere and Raymond Terrace.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the State Children's Relief Board, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, Sydney, 1894-1920. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 June 2012, Last modified: 19 March 2015