Ancestry UK

Homes for Working Boys or Girls

Many of the organisations providing children's residential care also established homes for working boys or working girls to provide support for those who were moving on into independent adult life. This was typically at around the age of 15 years, and after employment had been for them in the locality. The hostel-style accommodation usually had a resident member of staff, sometimes a married couple, to supervise the establishment and organise meals, laundry etc. Residents would contribute a portion of their wages towards their board and lodging and might also be expected to make a contribution to the household chores. Up until the 1930s, the majority of these homes were for boys, as residential domestic service was the most common destination for girls who had been in institutional care. After the Second World War, a small number of homes existed which provided accommodation for pregnant working girls or for working single mothers and their babies.