Odyssey House Victoria’s residential rehabilitation program, in the form of a Therapeutic Community, provides live-in treatment for adults, couples, and parents with their children (aged 0 to 12 years). The program offers a structured environment, with up to ninety residents and thirty staff, working together in a values-based program as a community to help individuals make changes and choices on their pathway to recovery. What this means to each person is different.
The program provides a therapeutic balance between work, structured groups, and recreation. Each resident has access to a variety of professional staff including psychologists, psychiatrists, GP’s, nurses, social workers, counsellors - a number of whom are experts by their own experiences. A recovery plan is developed for each resident, in partnership with Odyssey House staff.
All residents participate in the decision making of the community. They are also expected to contribute to the functioning of the community through cooking, cleaning, and working on property development and maintenance. Over time, residents will take on leadership roles in various departments such as the business office, children’s centre, property development and maintenance, and the kitchen.
“Coming here has changed my life around. This time last year I was doing nothing. I was staying home in Gippsland using alcohol and my life was going nowhere. When I came in I was really quiet. I wouldn’t talk. About three months into the program I started finding my voice. It’s just fantastic. It’s changed my kids’ lives too. Instead of seeing me home doing nothing they now see me not drinking. ...Once there were promises that were never held up to because of the drinking. Now the kids are seeing a mum who has stopped drinking, has her learner’s permit to drive and know that if she makes a promise she’ll stick to it...They’ve settled down a lot and are into a routine.” - Leanne
One of the unique features of the Odyssey House Therapeutic Community is that 30 beds are allocated to families, who are fully integrated into the program. In addition, they participate in parenting and family strengthening groups and activities, while children attend either an on-site child development centre and/or local kindergartens and primary schools.
All participants are encouraged and supported to deal with self-defeating repetitive patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This occurs within a safe and welcoming environment where our values of trust, concern, respect, honesty, and love are promoted. Each resident will progress through the program at their own pace.
In general, families are able to have regular contact and visits with their family member in treatment. The Therapeutic Community is located at 28 Bonds Road, Lower Plenty.
Odyssey House Victoria is the only residential treatment program in Victoria (and one of only a handful in Australia) which allows mothers and fathers to have their children stay with them while they undergo treatment. This means, at any given time, up to 30 children (aged 0 – 12 years) of our adult residents are also living at Odyssey House. Some provision is made for residents to have access with their children if they are not the primary care-giver. Odyssey House supports women through pregnancy, childbirth and their ongoing parenting and recovery.
While living at Odyssey House, these children are linked into an on-site developmental care program run through our Children’s Centre operating Monday to Friday every week. Staff working in family services are not only qualified in early learning and childhood development, they are also highly experienced in Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services. This is vital as they provide targeted care and support for the children in their care. Structured and unstructured play and recreational activities are used to allow children to develop linguistically, cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. Children are encouraged to explore, discuss and share their life events with peers through trained facilitators who have created a safe “emotionally contained” environment. This allows children to establish a strong identity, and to recognise in others, similar feelings and healthy ways of expressing them. Activities are child focused and identified needs are addressed where possible.
The aims of the Odyssey House family services are many, but the underlying purpose is to provide support, care and healing for children and their parents to help keep the family unit drug-free and able to live safe, meaningful lives.
To date, over 1,000 children have lived within Odyssey House while their parents participated in the drug treatment program.
For information on assessment and admission, please call our Richmond office on (03) 9420 7600.
Cost: Participants are expected to contribute 80 per cent of their social security payments (or equivalent) towards the costs of the program. All other expenses associated with participation in the program are covered by Odyssey House Victoria. This includes food, accommodation, medical costs, therapeutic services, child care etc.
Contact: Residential Rehabilitation Therapeutic Community