Take the pressure down

Anglicare Victoria’s Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) programs aim to reduce harm and prevent relapse. Our programs include counselling, case management and support for families impacted by substance use. By addressing drug-related issues and the family’s needs, the program supports safe reconnection and reunification, reducing the burden on Victoria’s Out-of-Home Care system.

We know the impact that alcohol and drugs can have on families. Our dedicated staff and effective programs empower many families to overcome their challenges. Our staff have seen an increase in drinking and substance use across vulnerable groups in the community. Over the last year our staff supported more than 1800 young people, adults and families on their journey and worked to support safety, understanding and compassion for everyone involved in the recovery process.

“Thank you for a life I never knew, a sober one. Keep going with your job; you truly make miracles happen.” – Christmas Card from Ennaer*, a LYFT (Linking Youth and Families Together) participant


The increased pressure on families during the pandemic resulted in higher rates of drug use and family violence. During lockdowns, care remained for these families, at their convenience. Post lockdown, in-person appointments resumed to assess the safety of the home environment.


To improve awareness and understanding of the family reunification program, AV was invited to present this year to state Child Protection staff. AV family reunification workers and Child Protection continue to collaborate to improve family outcomes.


For clients in our AOD programs, intersecting factors such as family violence, mental health and drug and alcohol concerns are common. The AOD program works closely with other AV services, such as family violence, to provide the most effective, integrated care.

Linking Youth and Families Together (LYFT) is a youth outreach program that works with young people and their parents to address the current and underlying issues that may be causing drug use. Jared* was referred to the LYFT program as the 15-year-old struggled with a history of abuse that led to high-risk drug taking and removal from his family home. Jared’s parents struggled to manage his behaviour and at one point said to his support workers, “I think we’re done.”

The LYFT team worked with Jared for many weeks providing a range of dedicated medical, social, educational and practical supports. Jared improved his communication with his family, reducing the conflict in the home to the extent they could go on a holiday together. With support to build greater awareness and knowledge, he reduced his substance use and recently discovered a passion for fishing.

“Whether it’s LYFT – the Family Reunification Program – or AOD counselling, we’re working alongside parents to increase their ability to address specific issues around drug and alcohol use while helping them to be safe and productive parents in all areas.” – Grenville Wise, Alternative Care and Support Services Program Manager

The 2022 Annual report can be found on our website.

To request a hard copy of this report, call us on 1800 809 722.

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