We were overjoyed to see the opening of Grace Homestead in 2018 after a two year journey of planning and petitioning, to open a rehabilitation centre that catered for women with children in their care. Grace Homestead meets the junction between AOD treatment and child protection. We believe the two are not mutually exclusive and look forward to developing research, and presenting data, that shows that a model where parents are rehabilitated with their children in their care, is not only in adhering to every human rights convention concerning the care of children, but also results in the best outcomes in terms of lower relapse rates, better retention rates, stronger parent-child attachment, and increased social and economic contribution of recovered individuals.
After personally witnessing the struggle of parents who were suffering with a substance use disorder and trying to care for their children, it became evident that Australia was largely missing the mark in terms of responding to the drug and alcohol crisis we are faced with. Our team of qualified clinicians and support workers, provide the wrap around treatment that is part of the solution to rehabilitating parents and children together.
While treatment that incorporates the child is more expensive in initial outlay than treatment for individuals alone, the increased cost pales in comparison to child protection costs incurred in the child safety system, higher relapse for parents who cannot keep their child with them in traditional services, and the associated healthcare, legal, and reduced economic input costs associated with higher relapse rates. Keeping families together, and maintaining the integrity of the family during rehabilitation, is the future of AOD and child protection, moving forward in Australia.
I look forward to the next year of operations of Grace Homestead and witnessing the successes and restoration of families, in the Grace Homestead program.
Grace Homestead runs on the generosity of our volunteer team. Our team brings a diverse range of skills, from nursing, to sewing, psychology, to budgeting. The team work together to deliver an evidence-based, wrap around service, to give the best opportunity for families to be restored.