BOYS’ TOWN EXPANDS ITS ON-SITE RESIDENTIAL SERVICES TO INCLUDE CARING FOR AND HELPING OUR TEENAGE GIRLS
It’s taken 71 years, but, at last, our Boys’ Town Engadine, through the auspices of its expanded name ‘DUNLEA CENTRE’ (in memory of Boys’ Town’s founder, Fr Tom Dunlea), has extended its renowned and highly successful residential services programs to now also include GIRLS.
Interestingly, it also took Fr Flannigan’s Boys’ Town at Omaha Nebraska in the USA (the inspiration on which our Fr Tom Dunlea drew for founding our own BT) some 62 years to itself admit girls into its residential programs, in 1979 (but still 31 years ahead of us)!
The totally separate girls’ Independent Living & Learning Unit (ILLU) at our Boys’ Town Engadine’s DUNLEA CENTRE has been named – MARGARET (in honour of St John Bosco’s beloved mother, Mamma Margaret) and commenced taking referrals last August (2010). It now caters for the maximum 8 girls, aged 12 to 15, each having her own air-conditioned bedroom and en suite. The Margaret Residential Unit occupies the beautifully renovated old Salesian residence and Infirmary (sick room) on the entire 1st floor of the ex Dining Room complex. Also incorporated in the renovations is a large and well furnished and equipped (and well-stocked) common lounge, dining and kitchen area for the girls.
Actually, for the last five years Boys’ Town has in fact been helping girls via our non-residential HART Day Program (where both boys and girls attend our program during school hours [9am – 3.30pm] and go home at the end of the school day – very similar to being a day pupil at BT). However, we have found that there is a great need in the community for a residential-based program to support troubled girls. We believe that at risk girls should also have full access to our services, just as boys do, and so our new Margaret Residential Unit for girls will ensure we address the need.
With the new girls residential unit being added to our portfolio of services, we now have a total of 5 programs for our youth, comprising: 3 residential units (Fleming; Power; Dunlea) for boys (Boys’ Town); 1 residential unit (Margaret) for girls; and the non-residential HART Day Program for both boys and girls, continuing our proud tradition of providing services where there is a genuine need.
And, best of all, through the dedication of our team of excellent professionals under the superb guidance of our Board and the inspiring leadership of our Director, Jim Doyle, all our services continue to be run in accordance with the loving core values of Fr Tom Dunlea and the famous ‘preventive system’ of our wonderful Salesians of Don Bosco.
Source: Old Boys’ at The Dunlea Centre