Fourteen was a government-run hostel in central Perth, established for up to 12 teenage boys who had been released under supervision from Riverbank. All boys were wards of the State (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) and went out to work or training from Fourteen. It closed in 1979 and was replaced by the Victoria Park (Riverbank) Annexe.
Fourteen was established by the Child Welfare Department (CWD) in 1968, at 14 Francis Street in central Perth. The CWD's annual report for 1969 (Signposts 2004, p.212) described Fourteen as a hostel that 'bridges the gap between close custody and complete freedom'. It was a run as a half-way house for boys readjusting to non-institutional life after a period of confinement in the State's maximum security youth detention facility, Riverbank, and before they were released into the community to serve out the remainder of their wardship under Riverbank's supervised after-care scheme. Fourteen could accommodate up to 12 boys, all of whom were wards of the State. Admissions grew from 30 in 1969 to 100 in 1973, but the number of boys at year end reportedly did not exceed capacity.
Departmental reports (Signposts 2004, pp.212-213) show that Fourteen had always had a role in teaching boys social interaction skills that would help them make and maintain employment and social relationships. This was formalised in 1976-1977, when training programs were delivered at Fourteen as part of a diversionary program and alternative to committing boys to Riverbank. By 1978, this program had ended and Fourteen continued to provide support for boys leaving Riverbank until it closed in November 1979.
In February 1980, the Victoria Park (Riverbank) Annexe was established to replace Fourteen.
1968 - 1979 Fourteen
1980 - 1984? Victoria Park (Riverbank) Annexe
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp. 212-214, Table 14: Young People at “Fourteen”, Certain Years between 1969 and 1979, Table 38: Young People at Riverbank, Certain Years between 1960 and 1991', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; State Records Office of Western Australia, Wards - Director's Approval to Transfer from one Institution to Another and Amend Training, Reference Code AU WA S1099- cons2607 A0191 V4 (p.4, 438) - page numbers refer to PDF page number in digital file held by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support) in 2017.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 27 September 2018