Northcote Home was established in 1928 in Grange as a rest home for mothers and new born babies. It also accommodated pregnant women, convalescent mothers, and infants requiring specialist care. From 1941 the Home became a Tuberculosis Preventorium, taking in children whose parents had tuberculosis to prevent them from contracting the disease. The Home later housed other children requiring care. Northcote Home closed in 1973.
Northcote Home opened on the seafront at 113 The Esplanade, Grange in 1928. Sir Josiah Symon and Misses M and E Symon donated funds for the building of this home which was established as a rest Home for mothers and their new born babies. The idea was that mothers could come from Hospital to Northcote and recuperate after the birth of their child, before returning to their own homes. The Home also took in pregnant women and infants requiring specialist care. Babies were sometimes admitted without their mothers.
The Home was run by an independent management committee and in its early years women were admitted on the recommendation of a doctor, maternity hospital or a minister of religion. Fees were charged for accommodation but these were reduced to as low as 1 pound per week for women with little money.
Initially the home accommodated six mothers and their children. In 1929 additions to the premises allowed more women and children to be cared for. The additions included four new bedrooms, a day nursery which converted to a sun room and a more spacious bathroom.
From 1941 Northcote Home became a Tuberculosis Preventorium and was sometimes referred to as the Northcote Home Preventorium for Children. As a Preventorium, the Home took in children whose parents were suffering from tuberculosis. This helped to prevent them from also contracting the disease and also allowed for parents who had no other family support to recuperate in a sanatorium while their children were cared for in the Home.
In 1950 a woman who had suffered from tuberculosis and had placed her four children at Northcote Home wrote to the paper about her experience:
Four years ago I was found to be suffering from tuberculosis, and my husband and I despaired of getting help to mind our four children for the minimum of six months which I was advised would pass before I could resume my home duties. We were told of Northcote Home, which works in conjunc tion with the Royal Adelaide Hospital to help such cases, and placed our four children, aged from eight years to eight months, there. I made good progress, and after some six months returned home, bringing the two elder children, while the two younger remained at Northcote for another six months. The home is set in the best environment at the seaside near Grange, and our children told us that, apart from the enforced separation from their parents, their stay was like a long beach holiday.
In later years, when the incidence of tuberculosis decreased, the Home began to take in children who required accommodation because of family breakdown or family crises.
As a result of increasing costs related to running the Home, Northcote closed on 24 December 1973. The building was sold to the Mental Health Services department of the State government.
In 2021, the South Australian government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
Sources used to compile this entry: 'NORTHCOTE HOME', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1 August 1928, p. 7, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29283811; 'NORTHCOTE HOME TO BE ENLARGED', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 3 December, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29851559; 'Appeal For T.B. Aid', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 29 March 1950, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44929422; 'LETTERS TO THE EDITOR', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 29 March 1950, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50214721; George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 16 February 2011, Last modified: 7 December 2021