Phoebe House provides an evidence-based, holistic drug and alcohol treatment for women who have full-time or part-time care of their children under 5.
Our program runs for approximately 6 to 8 months and is based on ideas of safety management and harm minimisation. Our program is built to mimic the real world, which means we encourage you to gain real world experiences while engaging in our program, giving you the chance to try new drug free activities, practice the skills you learn and grow from your experiences.
We support women who are pregnant to healthily manage their pregnancy in a drug free manner. We provide ongoing antenatal support for our pregnant women and advocate for our women to maintain full-time care of their newborns. We also support in neonatal abstinence syndrome.
We provide weekly individual counselling to learn new coping skills to prevent lapses or relapses, while also building new skills in emotion regulation and behaviour management. We also provide speciailised treatment based on individual needs relating to trauma, family and domestic violence, mood management, self esteem, building self-care activities and implementing this learning for positive recovery.
We provide weekly case management support to address all areas of your life including health, education, employment, accommodation, legal issues, family and children’s court support, among others. We also encourage engagement in community-based, drug free activities that support all areas of recovery and parenting.
Early Childhood Education
A key part of our program is ongoing parenting support that aims to improve parenting capacity in face-to-face sessions. We also provide a fully staffed children’s centre that provides care for up to six children, four days a week.
We also have daily group therapy programs, which aim to develop relapse prevention skills, train in emotion regulation and behaviour management, as well as improve self-esteem, parenting skills and better understand the impact of drug use on their lives.
Stage I – Assessment Stage
During the first stage, you are given the opportunity to settle into the program and get to know the staff and your fellow residents. In this stage you will learn what is required of you while starting the program.
This means you’ll start counselling, case management and engaging in group therapy.
Stage II – Understanding drug use
In this stage, you will gain knowledge about your drug use and the impact it has on your life and those of your kids. We place on the three phases of relapse; emotional, mental and physical relapse and work with you to develop your treatment goals, which includes goals for recovery, self and parenting.
Stage III – Relapse Management
During stage 3 you will be encouraged to implement your treatment goals while you develop relapse and lapse prevention plans, to build your understanding of the impacts of drug use on your children and your parenting ability. When developing these plans you will be guided to implement tools to assist in managing urges, triggers and cravings. This stage also allows you increased engagement with the community where you will identify, plan and reflect on self-identified, drug-free, community-based, family activities to do during the week and on weekends.
Stage IV – Healthy Relationships & Managing Emotions
In stage 4 you are encouraged to increase your community reintegration with an emphasis on building healthy relationships within the community to maintain long term recovery. You will improve your ability to manage yourself, your child/ren and your recovery with ongoing support and assistance from staff.
Stage V – Developing Life Balance
Throughout the final stage you will continue to practice your skills and knowledge into practice with increased access to the community.
In stage 5 we encourage you to combine all your learning to build a healthy life balance with you and your children.
Opioid Treatment and Relapse Prevention
Our relapse prevention training is based on safety management ideas that encourage the prevention of lapse and relapse for long term recovery. Relapse prevention is present in all aspects of the program. Engaging in relapse prevention at Phoebe House will allow you build the skills to identify the stages of relapse, recognise what lapse and relapse means for you and plan to prevent an unexpected use or relapse in the future. We encourage your healthy engagement in an opioid treatment program, such as Methadone or Buprenorphine to give you the chance to build a healthy life.
For the duration of your program, you will have access to weekly counselling with an in-house, specialised counsellor to assist learning during the program. Counselling sessions will focus on your identified goals and areas for treatment and includes relapse prevention training, emotion regulation and behaviour management skill training, improving self-esteem and communication skills, building healthy relationships and healthy choices, while learning to implement self-care strategies as well as mindfulness and self-reflection.
You will have a designated resident manager who works collaboratively with you to identify and achieve your goals. Resident management is holistically focused with the aim of encouraging you to self-identify your needs, allowing you to prioritise your goals for achievement. Commonly identified areas for goal setting include recovery, health, housing, education, employment, exercise, parenting ability, family and domestic violence, and engagement in community-based, drug-free activities among others.
Myee Children’s Program
Your child/ren will have a fantastic opportunity to be cared for in the Myee Children’s Centre, a learning centre that caters for all children. While our specialty might be in children under the age of 5, our Early Childhood Educators have extensive training to meet the needs of children of all ages, including teens. You and your child/ren will be able to engage in a range of activities, including baby massage, play therapy, specific developmental goal planning and parenting planning.
By engaging in the parenting program you will learn to build the bonds between yourself and your child/ren. You will be guided to do so through a therapeutic approaches which will build your relationships. The approaches include parenting groups, structured play sessions and individual goal plans that work closely with each family and relevant services. While the program prioritises the needs of your child, you, as the mother, will also be supported to build success for life and to encourage your child to grow and develop.
Family relationships are an important aspect to Phoebe House and one that we place in high regard. Throughout your program and where you identify the need, we will endeavour to help rebuild important family relationships to boost your positive, long-term recovery. For some, rebuilding family connections may simply be rebuilding a relationship with your child or children, and for others it might be reconnecting with family members whom you may not have spoken to for a while. Most importantly, the staff at Phoebe House will ensure these re-connections happen in safe, healthy ways while maintaining your recovery throughout.
Your engagement in group therapy is key to the program and will help you to make meaningful, positive changes for your recovery. You will engage in multiple groups a week which include topics such as Relapse Prevention, Effective Communication, Narrative Therapy, Money Management, Family and Domestic Violence, Self-Esteem, Psycho-education, and a Well-Being module which incorporates Mindfulness and Meditation, among others. Additionally, you will engage in a Parenting Program which includes groups specifically designed for our women and children and also includes Theraplay, 1, 2, 3 Magic and Circle of Security.
Weekend Plans and Community Engagement
As you progress through the program, you are encouraged to engage in planning for your weekend leave which are community-based, drug -free activities that support personal growth, recovery and parenting ability. A specialised Community Engagement Plan will also provide guidance for the activities you wish to partake in. Activities can include attendance at NA or AA meetings, participating in play groups and baby-rhyme time classes as well as planning a lunch or dinner with family or healthy friends. Each of these activities will require planning and preparation skills before you engage and a reflection on your experiences following the activity.
Health, Nutrition and Exercise
You will have the opportunity to engage in workshops that develop awareness of healthy lifestyle choices for you and your children. You will gain knowledge about healthy eating and living skills for yourself and fellow residents in a fun, interactive manner. Additionally, one evening each week you will be encouraged to cook for the whole house, sharing cultures and food ideas. External agencies such as OzHarvest’s NEST program will provide in-house cooking classes to encourage your culinary skills!
Our exercise program includes daily walks, weekly yoga and Zumba classes, regular attendance at the local swimming pools and the occasional ‘getting fit’ activity, such as rock climbing. We understand the importance of maintaining well-being through exercise, which means staff and residents alike can engage in these fun activities.
Medical advice is always sought for pregnant women as well as women who’ve recently given birth before they engage in any such activity.
Upon completion of the in-house program, you will engage in the After-Care Program, which lasts for up to year. In this program, you will receive regular check in phone calls and Skype calls from our AOD Team. During these calls, we’ll ask you a range of questions about your children, your time in the community, your accomplishments and offer any further support you may need. You will also have the opportunity to return to Phoebe House every 6 months for an afternoon tea to share experiences, challenges and accomplishments with your fellow graduates, current residents and the staff.