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Rehab centre opens with families in mind

Keeping families together: (left to right) Odyssey House NSW CEO, Julie Babineau; philanthropist Peter Wiggs; NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard; Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emma McBride; Odyssey House NSW chair, Doug Snedden AO.

Families recovering from drug and alcohol abuse will stay together thanks to a $4.5 million centre that opened at Campbelltown this week.

The Family Recovery Centre located at Odyssey House NSW, Eagle Vale in Campbelltown, already has an extensive waiting list, according to its CEO, Julie Babineau.

Federal Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Rural and Regional Health, Emma McBride and NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, jointly opened the centre.

It is one of a handful of rehabilitation centres in the country that allow men and women, experiencing adverse effects from alcohol and/or drugs to undertake treatment whilst their children (0-12 years) live with them.

It can house up to 16 families – single fathers, mothers and couples, including pregnant women and those seeking restoration of care.

It avoids the need to find temporary care for children and offers a range of services including parental training, reconnecting First Nations clients with culture as well as supporting people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“It’s been quite a journey to get here, but we are so excited to be welcoming our first families,” Ms Babineau said.

“It’s so important to keep families together, if possible, while parents take the challenging journey of learning to live without drugs or alcohol.

“Evidence shows when families stay together, clients are far more motivated to complete treatment, and children can stay where they belong – with their parents.

“Children are supported by our dedicated team of staff who work with the parents to ensure a good understanding of the child’s needs and provide child development and wellbeing support.

“Our family services help clients develop a safe home and effective parenting skills to

raise happy, resilient children who engage positively in our communities.”

Parents in treatment will also be provided with an exit plan for a smooth transition back into the community.

In 2021/2022, 152 parents were supported; there was also an increase in single fathers using the service.

“For more than 45 years Odyssey House has been a valuable provider of rehabilitation services for people dealing with the challenges of alcohol and other drug use, and this new $4.5 million centre will provide vital support to those in need, and their loved ones,” Mr Hazzard said.

Odyssey House NSW chair, Doug Snedden AO, acknowledged the federal Health and Aged Care, NSW Health, a major philanthropist and private donors – who have all helped in the project.

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