Stuart House, Mount Lawley, was a government-run hostel established in 1963 to provide supported accommodation for up to eight teenage girls, all of whom were wards of the State, prior to them living independently. From 1984, Stuart House became a community support hostel for boys and girls aged 6-17 years. From 1987, children on remand were admitted. Stuart House closed around 1988.
Stuart House was established in 1963 by the Child Welfare Department (Signposts 2004, pp.506-509) as an attempt to provide some supported accommodation in a suburban hostel for teenage girls who were wards of the State and who had often grown up in institutions. They could stay from a few weeks up to a year and it was intended that they would, in that time, be settled into employment and able to live independently or return to family.
In 1980, Stuart House became an annexe of the Walcott Centre. In its annual report for 1980, the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) (Signposts 2004, p.506) wrote that Stuart House provided 'hostel accommodation for adolescents who require a supportive intermediate setting prior to discharge to more independent living'. Stuart House offered behavioural programs 'designed to facilitate these processes'.
In 1984, Stuart House became what the DCW called a 'community support hostel', with an emphasis on children and young people who were facing 'varied and complex' challenges. Government reports (Signposts 2004, p.507) describe Stuart House's function at that time as 'providing skilled care' for children who authorities believed would not settle well into an emergency foster placement. Reports from that period indicate that many of the children admitted to Stuart House may have faced significant and complex challenges in their life and needed 'behavioural stabilisation and training' to assist children with social relationships and subsequent placements.
By 1987, up to 8 children and young people aged 6-17 years could be admitted to Stuart House. Children who were on arrest or remand could also be placed there.
It is possible that Stuart House had closed by 1988.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.507-508, Table 52: Young people at Stuart House, Certain Years between 1967 and 1982', 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.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 23 July 2015