The Sandgate Maternal and Child Welfare Home, at Sandgate, opened in March, 1944 as a government-run convalescent and emergency care home for children. It accommodated children whose mothers were seriously ill and for whose care no other suitable arrangements could be made. From 1901 to 1942, the same building in Flinders Parade, Sandgate, had been the site of the Broadhurst Convalescent Home. From 1983 the facility became known as the Sandgate Centre and provided both long and short term residential care for intellectually impaired children.
The Sandgate Maternal and Child Welfare Home was a government-run institution that cared for those children whose mothers were seriously ill and for whose care no other suitable arrangements could be made. The care provided was of a temporary nature and relieved pressure on the Diamantina Receiving Depot at Wooloowin that was caring for the children of servicemen whose wives were admitted to hospital.
The Home was run by nursing sisters on a hospital care basis. According to the Heritage Register:
Quarters for the nursing staff were altered and enlarged during the late 1940s, and new buildings added to the site during the mid 1950s included dining and recreation rooms, these buildings were demolished in June 1997.
By 1977 the complex consisted of the original house and other dormitory buildings. Children stayed for a maximum of 3 weeks, then either returned home or were transferred to the Red Cross Home at Margate. After the Margate Home closed in 1975, the children remained at Sandgate for as long as necessary.
Where children appeared to be 'abandoned', the Children's Services Department were notified and steps were taken to make them wards of the State.
In August 1983 the property was transferred to the Intellectual Disability Services section of the Health Department and became known as the Sandgate Centre.
1944 - 1983 Sandgate Maternal and Child Welfare Home
1983 - 1994 The Sandgate Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Department of Families', in Queensland Government Website, The State of Queensland (Department of Families), 30 July 2003, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/36784/20030730-0000/www.families.qld.gov.au/index-2.html; '138 Flinders Parade, Sandgate', in Queensland Heritage Register, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), 2013, https://environment.ehp.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=601515.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 28 November 2014