Bevis Marks Receiving Home, run by the government, opened in South Hobart in 1973. It provided temporary accommodation to children who were wards of state or supervised in other ways by the Social Welfare Department. In about 1980, it became Bevis Marks Family Group Home.
Bevis Marks Receiving Home opened in December 1973. It was in a South Hobart double storied brick house with a small yard which had previously been owned by the Department of Health and used as a doctor's surgery. A married woman, known as a Receiving Home Keeper, managed it with the assistance of her husband, who was in paid employment. In return, they did not pay rent.
The Home provided accommodation for new wards of the state or children on remand from the courts until the Department found a more permanent placement for them. The Home also took in children requiring temporary accommodation under the Domestic Service Assistance Act and in transit between homes. Their ages ranged from baby to adolescence.
Bevis Marks appears to have been commissioned in a hurry because of the demand for places in receiving homes. At the time, there were five homes and another one being prepared but work on it was too slow. Much of the pressure was caused by the lack of places for teenage girls.
The haste with which the Department opened Bevis Marks may have meant that it was inadequately prepared. When the children moved in, some of the surgery's furniture was still there. In 1974, a number of repairs had to be undertaken including replacing loose and rotten boards on the veranda, dealing with rot around the kitchen sink and in the cupboards, and removing an old rotary clothes line thrown into the corner of the yard. The smallness of that yard was a continual problem. It prompted one Receiving Home Keeper to apply for a transfer to another receiving home.
The Department encouraged Receiving Home Keepers to make the children's lives as much like those of other children as possible. This could include keeping pets. At Bevis Marks, the Receiving Home Keeper seems to have owned a dog.
1973 - c. 1980 Bevis Marks Receiving Home
c. 1981 - 1986 Bevis Marks Family Group Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 1981, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1981.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 8 May 2012, Last modified: 4 February 2014