Eligibility and Enrolment

Eligibility and Enrolment for the Family Preservation and Restoration
Residential Program.

1. Initial Assessment:

The Dunlea Centre requires a thorough assessment of the young person and their family prior to the young person being accepted into its Residential program. Such an assessment will take into account all accommodation options available to the young person.


  • An Assessment meeting is called by the Manager Family Services and/or Manager Educational Services once an application for enrolment has been received.
  • Subject to availability of places, such assessments will usually be arranged within a week of receipt of the application. Applications are date stamped on receipt.
  • The Assessment meeting is attended by the young person, their parent/s or carer/s and both Managers.
  • In the event one Manager is unavailable the Director or delegate will attend the assessment.
  • The Assessment includes reference to issues both the young person and the parent/carer wish to change.
  • If it is clear that the placement would be inappropriate then possible alternate referrals will be discussed.
  • The Assessment will include reference to other strategies used by families up to the present.
  • Upon conclusion of the Assessment meeting the Managers will make a recommendation to the Director regarding whether the young person meets the criteria for acceptance.
  • In the event the young person is accepted the Manager will arrange for the family/carers to be contacted to set up a Director’s meeting and organize a start day.
  • In the event the young person is not accepted the Manager will contact the family/carers to explain the reasons behind the decision and to recommend alternate programs.

2. Criteria for Assessment:

The Dunlea Centre has a clear set of criteria against which a placement is accepted or referred to a more appropriate service. Such criteria excludes reference to race, colour or creed except where it would be more appropriate to be referred to a culturally specific service.

3. Procedure:

The target group for the Dunlea Centre’s Residential Service are young people in school grades between Year 7 and 10 and their families/carers who may have:

  • Had a history of family and/or educational dysfunction due to behavioural issues
  • Been diagnosed as having a personality or conduct disorder, mental health issues or described as emotionally disturbed;
  • Have some of the following behaviours or behaviours which indicate:
    • Poor self image
    • Poor socialisation
    • Educational difficulties
    • Aggression and violence
    • Anti-social behaviours
    • Self mutilation
    • Suicidal tendencies
    • Inappropriate sexual behaviour
    • Substance abuse
  • Have difficulty in controlling their behaviour;
  • Require a structured behaviour management program;
  • Require intensive supervision;
  • Require therapeutic counselling.
  • A willingness and capacity to change these behaviours
  • Require assistance with positive parenting strategies

4. Recording & Monitoring of Assessment, Referral and Placement:

The Dunlea Centre records and monitors the times between the initial assessment, referral and placement to evaluate whether these processes are conducted without delay.


  • The time between referral and placement will be recorded on the summary sheet in the intake file with an explanation of any delay in placement.
  • The Manager Family Services will monitor this information and ensure any delays are raised with the Executive
  • The Manager Family Services will meet with staff to review referral procedures if consistent delays in placement become the norm.

5. Involving the Client & their Family in Decisions:

The Dunlea Centre will involve the young person and their family/carers in decisions about referral to another service.

6. Entry and Exclusion Criteria:

The Residential Program is aimed at young persons and families who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • the young person must be in Year 7 to 10. Year 10 students will only be accepted if the enquiry is made at the beginning of Term 1 of that year.
  • the Family must reside in Sydney Metropolitan area or Illawarra Region
  • the young person must be living in family setting or with long term carers.
  • the young person and family must voluntarily accept need for assistance with problems and commit to regular counselling sessions
  • the young person and family are seeking support in Family Preservation and Restoration, often involving help with behaviour management, conduct, parenting skills and other relationship issues.
  • the young person and family have sought, less intrusive, non residential alternative strategies and/or programs to address issues.

Eligibility is confirmed through an assessment process to establish the Dunlea Centre’s capacity to meet the health, educational, physical, social and emotional needs of the child wishing to enter the program. Accommodations for ATSI and CALD students are also considered at this time. The assessment seeks to establish links between the aspirations of the young person and carer with Dunlea Centre’s own Philosophy of Care. This assessment is conducted by interview by the Manager Family Services and Manager Educational Services. The assessment process seeks to identify, in order to exclude, those who fail to meet the above criteria. Also excluded are:

  • Young persons with major drug/alcohol problems/addiction or extreme sexualized behaviour and /or
  • Young persons with major psychiatric conditions and/or
  • Young persons with physical /intellectual disabilities of a nature that prevents full participation and constructive involvement in the program

Parents are advised of the outcome of their Family Assessment as soon as practical after the interview. Those not accepted are given clear reasons for their non acceptance by the relevant manager.

Once enrolled a young person remains in the program until transition arrangements are negotiated as part of his or her plan. Normally this is within a period of between 6 and 12 months. Should any elements relating to eligibility change, efforts will be made to maintain the placement. As all placements are voluntary a placement ceases if a young person or carer decides to withdraw from the program.

Upon completion of the Program a permanent placement is re-established with the carer following a negotiated transition program.

A placement is automatically terminated if there has been no contact with parent and/or young person for a period of a month. Dunlea Centre will offer every support to assist parents maintain their involvement.

Young persons may be temporarily excluded from the program in accordance with the Dunlea Centre’s ‘Time-Out’ policy.

If you have any queries regarding Eligibility and Enrolment please contact The Dunlea Centre here > and we will be happy to help any way we can.

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