The Gilles Plains Community Unit opened at Gilles Plains in 1979 as an open unit for boys who had been committed to Brookway Park. Run by the government, it provided long term accommodation for up to eight boys aged 9 to 15 who were deemed to be able to live in the community. The Unit closed in 1990 and was replaced in 1992 by a new facility built on the same site, the Gilles Plains Assessment Unit.
The Gilles Plains Community Unit opened at 643 North East Road, Gilles Plains in 1979 as an open unit for boys of school age who had been committed to Brookway Park, a secure care institution for young boys who had committed offences. Run by the government, the Gilles Plains Unit provided long term accommodation for boys between the ages of 9 and 15 whom the government deemed could live in the community. In 1982 five boys were resident in the Unit which was managed by a Senior Residential Care worker. Five residential care workers provided supervision of the boys on different shifts.
During the 1970s and into the 1980s, the department used smaller residential care units, such as the Gilles Plains Community Unit, for State children rather than large institutions. Each metropolitan region had a number of units which were used for different purposes. Admission Units provided short term crisis care; Assessment Units were used for teenage young offenders and other units provided therapeutic care for children with specific needs. Community Units provided longer term care and also assisted young people to move gradually back into the community. The Gilles Plains Community Unit operated in the Central Northern Region.
The Gilles Plains Community Unit was one of the institutions that came under scrutiny for allegations of abuse during the Children in State Care Inquiry 2004-2008.
In 1990 the Gilles Plains Community Unit closed and in 1992 a new purpose-built facility opened on the same site, known as the Gilles Plains Assessment Unit.
1979 - 1990 Gilles Plains Community Unit
1992 - Gilles Plains Assessment Unit
Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/; Mullighan, the Hon E.P., Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry: Allegations of sexual abuse and death from criminal conduct, presented to the South Australian Parliament by the Hon. E.P. Mullighan QC, Commisioner, Children in State Care Commission of Enquiry, Adelaide, South Australia, 2008, 564 pp, https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/107201/children-in-state-care-commission-of-inquiry-introducation.pdf.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 17 February 2011, Last modified: 13 June 2014