A hostel was one type of institution for young people, usually those leaving children’s Homes or reformatories, to prepare them for life after ‘care’. Hostels generally catered for young people from around the age of 15. They assisted former residents of orphanages and children’s Homes with the transition to paid employment and independent living.
The establishment of hostels was partly in response to concerns about young people, formerly in children’s Homes or other institutions, being ‘led astray’ during their adolescent years.
The young people who lived in hostels were often in paid work, and usually aged between 14 and 18 years. Some hostels catered especially for young women when they first came to work in the ‘big city’. Other hostels also provided training and employment to young people.