The Northern Region Admission Unit (NRAU) was the new name given to Stirling Cottage at St Peters in 1979. Run by the government, the Unit provided short term accommodation for up to eight children. In the early 1980s the Unit moved to Enfield. In 1990 the Northern Region Admission Unit was replaced by a purpose built unit on an adjoining property. This became known as the Enfield Community Unit.
On 19 February 1979, as part of a restructuring of departmental facilities, Stirling Cottage at 56 Second Avenue, St Peters, was renamed the Northern Region Admission Unit (NRAU). Run by the Department of Community Welfare, NRAU provided short term accommodation for up to eight children. Once a child was admitted, an individual program was developed by the unit staff in conjunction with the child's community welfare worker.
During the 1970s and into the 1980s, the department used smaller residential care units, such as the NRAU, 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.
As an Admission Unit, NRAU took in boys and girls as young as eight years of age as well as older teenagers. In relation to the mix of ages of children in the Unit, NRAU was one of the institutions that came under scrutiny for allegations of abuse during the Children in State Care Inquiry 2004-2008.
In the early 1980s the NRAU moved to Enfield and in 1990 it was replaced by a purpose built unit on an adjoining property. This became known as the Enfield Community 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; Annual report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1982/83.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 17 February 2011, Last modified: 24 June 2014