The value of embedding culture in to Therapeutic Communities for alcohol and other drug dependencies Rachael Wargent The Cairns Institute, James Cook University
Shanty Creek TC • Community commenced March 2012 • north of Cairns near Mareeba • Currently 19 residents • Both men and women • Adults over 18 years • Length of stay up to 9 months
Some Evidence • Nationally, alcohol and cannabis remain the most common principal drugs of use. • It is highest among those aged 35-44 years. • In 2008, 17% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported chronic drinking and 37% reported binge drinking, in the previous 12 month period. • Hospital admission rates of Indigenous people for conditions caused by drugs other than tobacco and alcohol are over twice those among non-Indigenous Australians.
Background • Discussion started in 2010 • JCU developed a methodology to evaluate a TC in north Queensland • Partnership JCU, QDAC and Lives Lived Well • Identified as a highly needed service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the north
Shanty Creek TC • Most of staff are Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Island • Clinical, Case workers, grounds men, cooks, cleaners administration • On country • Men’s and women’s spaces • Art and craft • Local AMS
Purpose • Modified for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people • Contribute to the social, economic and wellbeing of people • Contribute to the evidence base for culturally appropriate D&A treatment services
Methodology • Multifaceted research frameworks: • Participatory Action Research • Qualitative • Quantitative • GEM Growth and Empowerment Measure • Client Satisfaction Survey • Ethics • This project has been allocated ethics approval Number H4452
Continuous Quality Improvement Developed an evaluation framework for CQI with staff • 4 main Indicators: • Cultural Domain • Wellbeing Gain • Health Gain • Governance and Management • 3 rounds of CQI, 1 done next one due this month
Measuring Wellbeing • GEM developed to measure empowerment and wellbeing • Family Wellbeing Program
Implications for results • Service enhancement • Daily Programs • Staff evaluation • Improve facilities • Improve Wellbeing of Clients • Where to next….?
References: • D Gray & Wilkes, 2010 • Bailie, Si, O'Donoghue, & Dowden, 2007; Cornwall & Jewkes, 1995. • Haswell, M., Kavanagh, D., Tsey, K., Reilly, L., Cadet-James, Y., Laliberte, A., Doran, C. (2010). • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2010. • Thank you! • Rachael.Wargent1@jcu.edu.au