Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre, Applecross
Years of Operation1969 – September 1983
Role Of FacilityA 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.
Sponsoring AgencyDepartmental - predessor to the current Department for Child Protection
Address(es)55 Duncraig Road, Applecross
AliasesChildren’s Reception Centre
Brief HistoryFirst 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.
RecordsAdmission and discharge registers and some case files (see section “Records Held by the Department).
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888