The Home for Sick Infants, Paddington, was established by the State Children's Relief Board in 1907. Sometimes called Hargrave House, it was a home for babies who were too unwell to board out but could not be admitted to a general hospital. It also took in mothers (usually single girls). Between 400 and 500 babies were admitted in any given year. The operation moved to the Receiving House at Randwick Asylum in 1912.
The Home for Sick Infants, Paddington, was established under the Infant Protection Act 1904. It was one of a number of homes the State Children's Relief Board established to keep unmarried mothers and babies together and to care for vulnerable babies. It aimed to provide the benefits of breastfeeding and closeness to the babies in its care.
Mothers stayed between four and 12 months, while babies stayed three to ten months. An infant mortality rate of 17% was recorded, although babies with their mothers were noted to be considerably more likely to survive. The Home was under the supervision of a visiting medical officer, Dr Barkas.
By 1912 the Home was overcrowded. The Matron was Nurse Frost. The operation moved to what the State Children's Relief Board referred to as 'the Receiving House at Randwick Asylum' in 1913. This was possibly Hillside.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the State Children's Relief Board, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, Sydney, 1894-1920. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 June 2012, Last modified: 10 March 2014