The Enfield Community Unit opened at Enfield in 1990. Run by the government, it was a purpose-built unit and it replaced the Northern Region Admission Unit which had been running on an adjoining property. The Enfield Community Unit accommodated up to eight children aged from eight years to upper teens for longer term accommodation. It was still operating in 2008.
During the 1990s the Department for Family and Community Services opened a number of new purpose built residential units. The Enfield Community Unit was built on a property adjacent to the Northern Region Admission Unit (NRAU). In 1990, it took over the role of the NRAU.
During the 1970s and into the 1980s, the department began to develop smaller residential care units for State children. 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. When the Department for Community Welfare was renamed and restructured as the Department for Family and Community Services, many of the regional units were renamed, relocated or rebuilt.
In the 1990s, because of a lack of available foster care placement and the smaller number of residential care facilities, boys and girls as young as eight were sometimes placed in residential units with older teenagers. In relation to the mix of ages of children in the Unit, the Enfield Community Unit was one of the institutions that came under scrutiny for allegations of abuse during the Children in State Care Inquiry 2004-2008.
The Enfield Community Unit was still operating at the time of the publication of the Children in State Care Inquiry Final Report in 2008.
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: 6 November 2018