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Organisation Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre (1969 - 1983)
- Care Provider, Family Group Home, Government-run and Receiving Home
- Alternative Names
- Children's Reception Centre (also known as)
Please note that this page reproduces the original language used in the historical sources drawn upon to compile this entry. This language includes offensive and derogatory terms which are today considered unacceptable. We apologise for any offence caused by such language.
Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre operated in Applecross between 1969 and 1983 as a Department run residential facility for children and young people in need. Bridgewater also provided accommodation for families who were being reintroduced to their children or who were in the process of adopting a child. In the 1980s Bridgewater also provided services for children who were victims of sexual abuse. In September 1983, Bridgewater amalgamated with the Walcott System to form a new system of residential care and community support which was subsequently named the Community Support Hostels. Bridgewater became its Administration Centre.
[Taken from the Western Australian guide Signposts]
A Departmental facility, Bridgewater provided temporary care of "neglected or otherwise needy children who are not delinquent" and short-term residential care of those children placed for assessment by a "professional team". Age range 3 to 18 years.
Assessment was the main purpose of the facility, "behaviour change programmes" being "reserved for those children in need of short term treatment for individual problems."
In 1982, in response to the Department's initiatives in providing children with permanent placements, Bridgewater hosted accommodation for families who were being reintroduced to natural children or who were in the process of adopting a child.
First known as the Children's Reception Centre during its planning stages, the facility was named "Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre" from its opening on 5th February 1969. Actual operations of the Centre had commenced in January of that year, though it was only officially opened in February.
By 1981, Bridgewater was deemed to serve the needs of "three special groups of children, those in need of initial assessment and planning, those in need of temporary care while a life crisis is resolved and those wards who require a reassessment of plans in operation." One of the emerging roles of Bridgewater at this time was to support the Children's Protection Service by providing suitable services for children who were victims of sexual abuse.
Up until 1982, Bridgewater had provided accommodation for up to ten children in each of the eight cottages on the campus. However, in response to "improved services to families and a lowering birthrate" the resident population of Bridgewater had declined to an average of 30 children in four cottages. It was planned to phase out the residential program at Bridgewater by mid-September 1983 and replace it with a Crisis Care Unit which, it was hoped, would "expedite reunion of children and parents" so that "overnight institutional stays will be unnecessary."
In September 1983, Bridgewater amalgamated with the Walcott System to form a new system of residential care and community support.
In January 1984, the new system was named the Community Support Hostels, and Bridgewater became its Administration Centre. The Community Support Hostels comprised Darlington Cottage, Oceanview, Stuart House, Tudor Lodge, Warralea Hostel, Kyewong Hostel, Medina Hostel, Warminda and the Bedford Park Hostel [see individual entries].
The role of the Community Support Hostels was to "provide skilled care for children for whom a more normal setting, such as an emergency foster home, is not available."
A more detailed chronology of major events, admissions and discharges is included in Table 4.
Admission and discharge registers and some case files (see section "Records Held by the Department).
While access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
- 1969 - 1983
- Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre provided support in Applecross. Location: Applecross
1969 - 1983 Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre
1984 - Community Support Hostels
Records managed by
Provided 'care' at
- Western Australia. Child Welfare Department, Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Department, Perth [W.A.], 1929-1972. Details
- Western Australia. Department for Community Welfare, Annual Report: Department for Community Welfare, Dept. For Community Welfare, [Perth], 1973-1984. Details
- Department for Community Development, State of Western Australia, 'Submission No. 55 Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care: Submissions', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, July 2003, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist.htm. Details
- Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, http://www.signposts.communitydevelopment.wa.gov.au/. Details
- WINGS (Inc), 'Submission No. 259 Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care: Submissions', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2003, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist.htm. Details
- The 'Homes' Herald, 1974 [Methodist Homes for Children]
- December 1974
- Vol 2 No 20
- Uniting Church (Synod of Western Australia) Archives
- Bridgewater Assessment Centre is mentioned in the Methodist Homes for Children newsletter The ‘Homes’ Herald as sending children to Warminda in 1974.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, http://www.signposts.communitydevelopment.wa.gov.au/.
Prepared by: Anna Trengove and Leanne Howard
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 27 August 2012