Do you provide other complementary services while in WHOS?

WHOS provides enhancement to its core TC service such as:

  • Family Support for residents in program, including support with access to children in their care and not in their care where possible and/or appropriate
  • Aftercare Program that supports residents reintegrating back into the general community along with pre-employment skills training and job readiness/employment opportunities where  resources permit
  • Harm Reduction services –  Overdose, infectious diseases education and information and access to NSP and safer sex supplies
  • Free OST dosing for OST clients in residence at OSTAR and RTOD programs
  • Our Rozelle and Queensland services: there are nurses on staff that cover general and mental health issues with a doctor and nurse managers at Rozelle to oversee OST dosing among other health issues that need immediate attention

How can people support the work you do?

Former residents, family and friends – a chance to support WHOS’ future work.
Past residents and family and friends who wish to give back in some way to help WHOS continue its work to help individuals affected by alcohol and other drug dependence, may contact our administration on 02 85727 411. We welcome your support and will discuss with you options available to you to assist us with our mission.
“Changing Lives for the Better”
Donating to WHOS will make a difference to those and their families affected by drug and alcohol dependence
The are a number of ways you can support WHOS, by
• Corporate Support and partnership events
• Bequests
• Nominate a project or WHOS service to donate to or discuss with us what we need right now
• Donations in kind

Does WHOS only cater for local people?

There are no restrictions for where a person comes from

Why do people drop out of the program? Can they ever come back?

People drop out for a number reasons (e.g. not the right program type for them, changed their mind re pursuing their treatment goal of either a drug free or stabilisation outcome). Yes, people can come back in but there are stand down times e.g.
For first admission – if a person leaves the program they are eligible to come back in seven days as long as there was not a serious reason for leaving (e.g. using drugs on site, violence against another person whilst in the program).
Second admission – if they leave they are eligible to come back in three months  as long as there was not a serious reason for leaving (e.g. using drugs on site, violence against another person whilst in the program).
If they leave or are discharged from the program after the second admission the cycle repeats itself unless there is agreement and/ or a decision by treating staff that WHOS may not be the most appropriate program for the applicant

Is there a waiting list? If so, what do I need to do to stay on it?

There may be a waiting list for some programs due to high demand. If you have been accepted for admission and a bed is not available or we are waiting on further medical and/or legal documentation you will need to ring in to the staff on duty so we know you’re still interested in being admitted to WHOS. Please ask staff from the service you’re interested in for further detail re ringing in requirements.

How is my treatment funded?

WHOS is mostly funded by State and Federal governments

Do people pay fees?

WHOS is mostly funded by State and Federal governments however; there is a gap in costs in providing these services not covered by the funders so it is necessary to charge a “client contribution” from your benefit entitlement for your first 4 months in the program.  After 4 months, you will only need to contribute for food and accommodation.

A savings plan is available, ensuring residents have some financial security when leaving our program.

What should I expect when entering the program?

When entering the program, a staff member will provide you with an Orientation Folder with information about WHOS, the program and expectations. The staff member will explain it to you and you will be assigned a peer resident to support you at all times during your first days in the program. You will be required to participate in the various groups, activities and meetings as per the TC program schedule.

Do you have to be referred by a doctor?

No you don’t. Unless applying for an Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) program just follow the process under “getting admitted”.
If applying for an Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) program (WHOS OSTAR or RTOD service) your prescriber will need to provide OSTAR with a letter of support for your withdrawal off methadone or other opioid substitution treatment. WHOS RTOD staff will liaise with your prescriber prior to admission.

I have legal issues at the moment, am I eligible?

We take clients who are assessed as appropriate for our program from Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT), Drug Court and other individuals who are awaiting matters before the courts. If you are ordered by the court to seek treatment in a generic sense, then we can accommodate you provided you meet our admission requirements. However we don’t accept anyone bailed or bonded to our facility, but we will consider an admission if you were bailed or bonded to your own undertaking. In this situation we are only required to notify the courts if the person leaves prematurely. If an individual leaves it’s the person’s responsibility to then go and have their bail conditions changed. If in doubt, please ask to speak to a staff member to clarify any of the above.

How do people apply?

Simply select your preferred program and call us for a phone assessment. For more information, please go to the “Getting Admitted” tab (Top of Page) on this website or ring 02 8572 7444 during office hours

How does a Therapeutic Community (TC) differ from any other D&A rehabilitation programs?

The main distinction between the TC and other treatments and rehabilitation programs is the use of “TC community as a method” for changing the whole person (ref. De Leon, 2000: p 92).
As such, at a TC the resident community is the agent for change. The community is made up of staff and
resident members, with resident members having clear “ownership” of the environment as, for
the period of engagement in the program, the TC is their home. As such the resident members
have input into decision making processes and participate in maintaining the facility.
(Taken from Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association website:  atca.com.au)

What does WHOS stand for?

We Help Ourselves. WHOS utilises the TC model of care where ‘self help’ is an integral component of the model of care, where the resident is encouraged to take responsibility for their own recovery as opposed to expecting to be cured by someone else.

Do you offer treatment for all kinds of drugs?

WHOS treats alcohol and other drug dependence rather than kinds of drug specific issues.

How many residents are in the program at any one time? And for how long?

Depending on what facility you want to access, our program capacity can range from 12-30 people at any one time. Please ask program capacity at time of enquiry if this is an issue for you. The program length varies from person to person but it usually goes for 4-6 months.

What is meant by a Therapeutic Community?

A therapeutic community (TC) is a treatment facility in which the community itself, through self-help and mutual support, is the principal means for promoting personal change.
In a therapeutic community residents and staff participate in the management and operation of the community, contributing to a psychologically and physically safe learning environment where change can occur. In a therapeutic community there is a focus on social, psychological and behavioural dimensions of substance use, with the use of the community to heal individuals emotionally, and support the development of behaviours, attitudes and values of healthy living (definition taken from Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association website).

For more information visit What is a Therapeutic Community (TC) section.


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