Service Enhancement Grants

The Women's AOD Service Delivery Enhancement Grants Program

The women's drug and alcohol service enhancement grants were targeted at specialist drug and alcohol services that work with women, inclusive of women who are pregnant and women with children. The grants panel consisted of independent representatives from National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction and a NADA representative.

Eight out of ten grant applications were approved and distributed to six specialist women's drug and alcohol services. Grants were up to $70,000 and project timeframes cover from March 2014 to May 2015. NADA would like to thank all the women's services that applied for these grants. A brief project overview from each organisation is outlined below. For further information on any of the projects, please contact Ciara or contact Heidi.

Grant recipients:

Kathleen York House
Dianella Cottage
Guthrie House
Jarrah House
New Beginings, We Help Ourselves

Grant recipient: Kathleen York House - ADFNSW
Kathleen York House (KYH) is a 24 residential drug and alcohol treatment service for women and women with their children. KYH supports women to understand and overcome substance dependence and reduce its harmful impact on their lives, their children, their families and the community. KYH also supports pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and post-delivery. KYH recognises children as individual clients and extends treatment to the mothers and their children.
Working on the premise of a Through Care model, women seeking treatment to overcome substance dependence will be able to receive appropriate treatment tailored to the stages of change they are in as well as based on their/family needs.

KYH will implement an Outreach and Aftercare Outreach program to complement its current residential program and its pilot day program (see Grant Two below). 

Grant Program: Outreach and Aftercare Program
The aim of the Aftercare Program is to help the women maintain a drug free lifestyle while reintegrating back into the community and to function productively in the family, at work and in society. The Aftercare program will provide a continuum of care, after the completion of the residential or day program of KYH by offering ongoing treatment for up to 12 months.  Uniquely, other specialist women's drug and alcohol services will be able to refer women (and their children) that have completed treatment within their service to the KYH aftercare program. The program provides three group therapy programs a week.  Case management is focused on the individual woman's needs, in areas such as physical and mental health, parenting and living skills, educational and vocational support, housing etc. to support sustainable community reintegration. The program builds sustainable links and partnerships with relevant agencies to achieve and maintain networks beneficial to the program. 

The aim of the Outreach component of the program is to support women (and their children) in the community who are waiting for treatment to become available by offering support, referrals and advocacy to suit their individual needs, and to provide outreach support to women who leave the residential program before completion.   

Grant Program: Day Program
KYH will develop and implement Day Program primarily to reach out to more women seeking treatment for their substance dependence, especially those looking for an alternative to residential treatment. KYH identified a wide range of women who cannot access residential services due to various issues, particularly mothers working and or, having school aged children, or due to the potential of compromising housing / finances / employment. The day program will offer an opportunity to these women to access treatment without compromising their personal and social livelihoods.

The program will allow for flexibility as the women's needs and circumstances change allowing clients to transfer between the day program, the outreach and aftercare program or the residential program as needed. 

Grant recipient: Dianella Cottage
Dianella Cottage is a project of Blue Mountains Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services Incorporated. It is a harm minimisation service for women with co-existing drug, alcohol and mental health issues. Dianella Cottage supports women at all stages of addressing their drug use including women on pharmacotherapies and women impacted by the criminal justice, child protection and mental health systems.

A suite of group programs is offered comprising of therapeutic and psychosocial interventions, skills development, healthy lifestyle and activities programs. This is complimented by one to one counselling, case management and supported referral. Dianella Cottage is committed to working from a trauma informed and family inclusive framework that underpins all programs and services provided.

Grant program: The Standpoint Project: Understanding the Experience of Women on Pharmacotherapies
The Standpoint Project is a capacity building project. A holistic needs assessment will be undertaken of the diverse needs and experiences of women on pharmacotherapy treatment programs and will include a specific focus on women's parenting experiences, support received, gaps in service delivery and highlight additional parenting needs for women whilst receiving treatment (for children in or not in  their care).
The project will target the following groups of stakeholders in the Blue Mountains and surrounding regional areas:
1. Women with experience of pharmacotherapy treatment.
2. Staff involved in the direct delivery of pharmacotherapy services.
3. Ancillary service perspectives.
The purpose of this project is to gather an understanding of any barriers to participation for this group of women and to improve access to services and programs provided by Dianella Cottage and strategically develop specific services and programs in response to the findings.

Grant recipient: Guthrie House
Guthrie House is a transitional service for women 18 and over, including women with pre-school aged children in their full-time care. It is the only service of its kind that supports women who have a history of alcohol and other drug abuse and current involvement in the criminal justice system. This can include release from a correctional centre on bail and/or community-based sentence such as a Parole Order, Probation Order, Drug Court Order or an Intensive Correction Order. It is one of the few services that accept women who have dependent pre-school aged children in their full-time care and/or are participating in pharmacotherapy treatment, including methadone or buprenorphine.

The Guthrie House Program is comprised of a residential component of three months and an after-care component of up to twelve months. The Program provides women with safe and secure medium-term, transitional accommodation and the wrap around supports needed to address their offending behaviour, prevent and reduce re-offending, drug and alcohol abuse and successfully transition to sustainable long term housing.

Grant Program: Women Choice and Change Project
The Women Choice and Change Project aims to work with women in Guthrie House to choose and maintain strong, healthy relationships. While Guthrie House delivers a range of programs, none specifically focus on the personal relationship dynamics that contribute to women's drug and alcohol problems. This program will support women in treatment at Guthrie House to better manage their personal domestic relationships through participation in a specifically designed group program. In collaboration with Relationships Australia and the University of New South Wales, Guthrie House will research, design, implement, and evaluate a group program that addresses issues of self-esteem, aloneness and loneliness, domestic violence and co-dependent partners in drug and alcohol abuse.

Grant recipient: Jarrah House
Jarrah House is a women's residential drug and alcohol treatment facility located in Little Bay, Sydney, offering detoxification and rehabilitation programs for women. Jarrah House is the only facility in Australia that allows women to maintain their children in their care whilst detoxing from alcohol and other drugs.

Grant project: Bridging the Gap - Provision of a Culturally Sensitive AOD Treatment program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women with or without their children
This project aims to improve access to, and retention of, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to drug and alcohol treatment and improve organisational capacity to provide culturally sensitive practice across all areas of service provision at Jarrah House. A multipronged change management approach will be used to implement the following strategies over the twelve month period:
• The employment of a full time Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol worker to support the engagement and retention of Aboriginal clients.
• The development, review and implementation of Jarrah House policies and procedures to reflect best practice in working with Aboriginal women and their children in drug and alcohol treatment settings.
• The development and review and implementation of Jarrah House client programs to reflect best practice in working with Aboriginal women and their children in drug and alcohol treatment settings.
• The provision of training in Aboriginal cultural awareness and for all staff.
• Networking activities to strengthen partnerships with local and rural Aboriginal organisations.
The expected outcome of the program is that Aboriginal women will have improved access to and retention in treatment related to Jarrah House programs in areas sustainable after the project has been completed.

Grant recipient: Kamira
Kamira provides alcohol and other drug treatment services for women who are over 18 years of age with or without children across the state of NSW. Children up to the age 8 can be permanently accommodated with their mothers.
Kamira offers a six to nine month residential rehabilitation program that operates as a modified therapeutic community, utilising current evidenced based practices. It is a highly structured comprehensive program incorporating: therapeutic groups and individual counselling conducted by tertiary trained and experienced staff, child care and parent effectiveness training, healthy dietary plans, yoga and relaxation training, gardening, camping and other extra curricula activities.

Grant project: Aftercare Transition and Housing Pilot Program
The Aftercare Transition and Housing Pilot Program aims to increase the support provided to women without dependent children in treatment with complex clinical profiles by filling the gap between completion of the residential program and transitioning into independent, safe and stable housing. The following approach will be used to implement the program:
• Employment of a part time Aftercare worker.
• Securing an appropriately located premises.
• Prioritising clients with complex clinical profiles for program access.
• Providing individualised comprehensive support for women transitioning to the Aftercare program at a pace determined through the treatment review process.
• The provision of tailored case management by the Aftercare Worker, addressing individual needs such as counselling, living skills, education and employment, and community reintegration.
• Continued access to appropriate programs and support at Kamira. 
Expected outcomes for women accessing the this program will include successful transition from the residential rehabilitation environment into independent living, achievement of their treatment goals, be linked into local support services and be more confident and capable of securing safe independent housing.

Grant project: Family and Community Services Program (FaCSP)
The FaCSP aims to improve collaboration between drug and alcohol services and Family and Community Services (FaCS) and improve treatment outcomes for women and children who are subject to care and protection orders. A part time Child Protection Coordinator will be employed within Kamira. This position will:
• Provide a comprehensive treatment approach for women at Kamira incorporating a collaborative care model that involves FaCS.
• Provide alcohol and drug assessment and treatment plans for FaCS clients at risk of having children removed from their care.
• Conduct a literature review on current models of care to inform best practice.
• Develop guidelines for drug and alcohol services. These guidelines aim to support women in drug and alcohol treatment with children subject to care and protection orders to enhance treatment outcomes and to support consistency and transparency across the drug and alcohol non-government sector and FaCS to achieve the best treatment and case management outcomes for women in partnership.
• Provide training / professional development for Kamira and FaCS staff where required.

Grant recipient: New Beginnings, We Help Ourselves
We Help Ourselves (WHOS) operates a number of residential services throughout NSW and QLD, including a women's only, men's only and mixed gender therapeutic communities (TCs), and residential and day opioid substitution programs. These services are located across metropolitan, regional and rural areas. WHOS New Beginnings is a four to six month program women's therapeutic community located in metropolitan Sydney, offering women a safe environment to become drug free and learn a healthy way of living. 

Grant Project: New Beginnings Service Enhancement Grant Project
The New Beginning's project aims to increase WHOs capacity to support and improve outcomes for substance using women. It is designed to improve direct service delivery outcomes by ensuring WHOS New Beginnings operates from a trauma informed perspective. This will achieved by implementing a multipronged approach by reviewing all operational systems, policy and procedure practice and include:      
• The review, redesign, implementation and evaluation of all group work programs based on a comprehensive literature review and consultation with both trauma and cognitive remediation experts.
• The training of all staff to work from a trauma informed care perspective, inclusive of the impact of trauma, both psychological and physical.
• The training of all staff to facilitate and deliver the new group work curriculum. 
WHOS will utilise experts with whom WHOS has already established relationships with from the University of Wollongong, The national Drug and Alcohol Research and Advanced Neurological Treatment Services across the lifespan of the project.  The project has been designed to be sustainable beyond project funding.