Over the course of 12 weeks, students at Triple Care Farm complete an individually tailored program to support them in their recovery. Each young person is given a timetable of activities that reflects their needs and interests. During freetime and on weekends, students also have opportunities for recreation. What's more, support doesn't end after 12 weeks as an Aftercare Program supports the young person as they transition back into the community.
The Triple Care Farm program, funded by SDMF and delivered by our partners at Mission Australia, is structured to provide treatment and support for addiction and mental health issues, but to also provide opportunities for young people to gain numerous skills whilst at the farm. By re-engaging with education and building job and living skills, students are better placed to be independent, find employment or go on to do further study.
The 12 weeks at the farm is broken down into 3 stages each comprising 4 weeks:
- Gateway: focuses on assessing the student's needs, introducing them to a range of activities to find their interests, and setting goals.
- Explorer: allows students to explore their newly discovered interests and begin to start achieving their goals.
- Outbound: centres on assisting students to make plans for the future and preparing them to return to the community.
Throughout each stage, students engage in:
- treatment and counselling
- living skills
- vocational and educational training
- sports and recreation
When a young person has finished their time at Triple Care Farm, they are connected with a support worker as part of the Aftercare Program, which oversees them transition back into life in the community and continue to achieve their goals of turning their lives around for up to 6 months after graduation.
Treatment and Counselling
The first step in supporting young people in their recovery is to address their addiction and any mental health issues they might have. A team of counsellors and psychologists at the Farm support young people through one-on-one counselling as well as group therapy. It is an opportunity for the young person to address underlying issues or other contributing factors to their need for rehab. Together, they develop a treatment plan and work together closely throughout the student's time at TCF. Group sessions and workshops also provide the students with coping techniques and practical skills in combating both their addictions and mental health problems.
Each young person is placed in their own room in a house with 5 other students plus one supervising youth worker. This provides opportunities for young people to learn essential living skills and domestic responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting and maintaining good hygiene. It also builds social skills as students learn how to maintain positive social relationships, negotiate and resolve conflicts. A dedicated Living Skills teacher also runs lessons and workshops in areas including proper food storage, sexual health and basic finance.
Vocational and Educational Training
To create pathways to further education and employment, TCF offers both accredited and non-accredited Vocational and Education Training (VET) for students. For those who missed out on schooling due to their addiction or mental illness, literacy and numeracy lessons are provided. Through a partnership with TAFE Outreach, TCF students also have the opportunity to complete a Certificate II (Skills for Work & Training) which is a Year 12 equivalent, enabling recipients to enrol in tertiary education or boost their CV. For those whose goals centre on being more employable, various activities build job skills. On offer is: forklift driving, landscaping, hospitality skills, woodworks, and First Aid. Whenever possible, the Farm provides accredited certificates. As part of the VET component, students are also offered Art and Music Therapy, allowing them to explore their creativity and self-expression.
Sport and Recreation
Following the philosophy of 'a healthy body equals a healthy mind,' TCF staff encourage students to participate in fitness training whilst at the Farm. Students have access to fully equipped gym, a basketball court and leisure activities such as table tennis. On weekends, youth workers lead the students in excursions to show them how to have fun without the need for drugs. Students get a chance to go outdoors to do hiking, kayaking, surfing and swimming as well as do classic leisure activities such as seeing a movie or going bowling.
During their final weeks at TCF, students begin to work closely with an Aftercare support coordinator so they may better position themselves to achieve their goals upon leaving the Farm. Together they secure stable accommodation, find a network of support services in the student's area and create a plan for them to either return to education or enter the workforce. After the student graduates, the Aftercare coordinator keeps in touch for up to 6 months and is there to offer practical advice, be a mentor and someone to talk to if old problems begin to resurface.