The Bridgewater Admissions Registers are the admission registers of the Bridgewater Care and Assessment Centre. They are held by Child Protection and Family Support (CPFS). It was the practice of the Bridgewater Centre to record each child's name when they were admitted to the Home, and the date when they left. Unfortunately, the admission registers do not record all details for all children through all years of the Home's operation. However, they do give information about admissions for a very large number of children who came into 'care' in WA. There are two admission registers, covering the years from 1969 to 1983.
Access to these records is restricted and confidentiality is protected by CPFS. If you believe the Department may hold records about you, or about a family member, you are encouraged to apply. Access is governed by the Freedom of Information Act 1992 and CPFS has a form on their website which you must use to apply for records.
The main purpose of this Home during most of its lifetime was to provide 'care' for a short time while the child's needs were assessed and a plan for more permanent placement was made.
In 2001, the Department took all the information from the Bridgewater admission registers and created an electronic index. Using the index, the Department has tried to match the children on the admission registers with other files held. This indexing work showed that some children's names appeared multiple times. The Department had to look carefully at the other information on the admission register to try and determine if that name belonged to one child. For example, if 'Jane Smith' was admitted 4 times in 1966, was it the same Jane Smith or were there two girls called Jane Smith? If the child's birthdate or parent's name was also recorded, that would help sort out who was who. But often, there was only a name with the date of admission.
Temporary care was also provided by the Department's other 'reception' Home in Walcott Street, Mt Lawley. The Department's index also contains the names of people who came into 'care' via that Home.
The two volumes of Bridgewater admission registers are:
The admission registers had columns for quite a lot of information to be recorded about each child. That information could be passed along to the foster carer or Children's Home so that they had some background information about why the child had come into care. But sadly, the importance of recording this information wasn't foreseen and in many cases the register contains only a child's name and the date of admission. However, the admission registers are very valuable for the times when they may record the following details:
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 21 March 2012, Last modified: 14 September 2017