NADA Family and Carer Project

Project Background

The Family and Carers Project was funded by MHDAO, NSW Health under the New Direction in Mental Health initiative. It aims to support the involvement of family and carers of clients with mental health issues who are accessing non government drug and alcohol services.

The level of family and carer engagement by agencies varies across the drug and alcohol treatment sector, with few clearly identified models or strategies to engage and support family and carers for improved outcomes for clients with both mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

The development and implementation of a Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Family and Carer Program in non government drug and alcohol agencies had a significant positive impact on agency service delivery, support available to family and carers and client outcomes.

The project included three main components:

1. A toolkit - Tools for Change: A new way of working families and carers

This practical toolkit will provide services with a range of service models, interventions and practical tools to assist in working towards more family inclusive service delivery. Click here  to download the toolkit.  Click here to download the Media Release.

2. Practice Development Workshops and Training

Practice development workshops were held in May & June 2009 facilitated by the Bouverie Centre focusing on how services can work more effectively with family and carers within their own practice, networking with other services and hearing about what is currently being done. 

Single Session Work with Families Training Program
NADA & the Bouverie Centre, Family Institute, Victoria worked in partnership with NADA members to complete frontline training in Single Session Work with a  Family Focus with further support post training to facilitate implementation into frontline practice. 

Seven NADA members were successful in the EOI process in early 2010 and 29 staff from the seven organisations have participated in the two day training sessions in May and June 2010. 

Single Session Work Info

3. NADA Family and Carers Grant Program

Approximately $500,000 has been allocated in one off seeding grants to a range of non government drug and alcohol organisations to conduct projects that improve support for family and carers for up to one year.

Two types of grants were offered to services:

i. Introduction to working family and carers ($5,000 - $10,000)This grant type was recommended for services that currently do not, or have little engagement with family and carers.

ii. Effective engagement with family and carers ($20,000 - $40,000) This grant was recommended for services that already have strategies to engage and support family and carers but would like to increase their capacity to engage more effectively.

The grant application round closed in June 2009 and 22 organisations were successful in receiving a family and carer grant.

Projects range from the production of print and web resources aimed at family members of those affected by Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol issues, travel and accommodation assistance, staff training research, education and support programs for families and carers. The projects take on various shapes, some services aim to create education, support or therapeutic programs specifically for families and carers of clients, some opt for joint families and carers programs, whilst other services are opting to facilitate the improvement or re-establishment of client-family relationships in a less formal way via facilitating visits. More over all grant recipients aim to develop or review relevant family and carer policy and procedures to ensure the service as a whole addresses family and carer inclusiveness appropriately.

A list of successful applicants and a brief description of their projects can be found here.

NADA Family and Carer Project Final Report
An external evalulation and needs analysis was conducted by NADA following the conclusion of the project. Click here to access the report.

In other news
Robert Stirling, Project Manager NADA & David McGrath, Director MHDAO, NSW Health provided guest editorials discussing the issues facing Family and Carers of individuals experienceing Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol  in the Oct/Nov Issue of Carers News NSW.  To download this newsletter click here.

For more information on these initiatives please contact Robert on 02 8113 1320 or Robert.