Colton Cottage at Thorngate was opened by the government in 1965. It accommodated up to ten State children in cottage-style living under the supervision of a cottage mother. Children attended local schools and churches. Some children with intellectual disabilities resided at Colton Cottage. Colton Cottage closed in 1982 and the children were sent to a Home Care Unit.
The Children's Welfare and Public Relief Department opened Colton Cottage at 13 Churcher Street, Thorngate on 2 February 1965. It was the fifth cottage of six cottages established by the government during the 1960s. The other five were Merrilama Cottage at Glenelg , Stirling Cottage at St Peters, Clark Cottage at Clarence Park, Spence Cottage at Kensington Gardens and Hay Cottage at Lockleys .
Colton Cottage was named after Lady Colton who was an early member of the State Children's Council. It accommodated up to ten children. Miss O C Stone was the first cottage mother. In later years Colton Cottage also cared for children with intellectual disabilities.
Each of the six cottages accommodated children placed under the care of the State. Departmental Annual Reports from the 1960s stress the belief that cottage style care enabled greater individual attention to be given to each child. The Department also felt that children living in cottage style accommodation and attending local schools would be less conspicuous as 'State' children, making it easier for them to become part of the local community. The cottage system also allowed for brothers and sisters to be placed together. Reports also noted that providing cottage style care was less costly for the government than running large institutions.
Colton Cottage closed in 1982 and the children were sent to a Home Care Unit, where they were cared for in the home of a residential care worker.
Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/; Mullighan, the Hon E.P., Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry: Allegations of sexual abuse and death from criminal conduct, presented to the South Australian Parliament by the Hon. E.P. Mullighan QC, Commisioner, Children in State Care Commission of Enquiry, Adelaide, South Australia, 2008, 564 pp, https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/107201/children-in-state-care-commission-of-inquiry-introducation.pdf.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 11 February 2011, Last modified: 13 February 2014