Vocationeel leren integreren in de drugbehandeling..
Vocationeel leren integreren in de drugbehandeling ; goede praktijken leren kennen dankzij studiebezoeken
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Integrating vocational learning in drug rehabilitation programs – in search of good practice by study visits in Europe
The Merelbeke Therapeutic Community ( TC), which is part of De Sleutel’s network, offers long-term residential treatment for former addicts, aimed at maximum rehabilitation into society (training, work, home, social relationships, etc.) and the development of a stable, drug-free life. The TC-model is based on clearly and specified treatment principles, inspired by verbal-cognitive behavioural therapy . TC’s are drug- free environments in which people live together in an organized and structured way to promote change toward recovery and reinsertion in society. As part of this frame, it is our aim to focus more on “work” and professional learning through the leverage of lifelong learning for adults. Different reasons bring us to this focus:
First, people with addictive problems mostly had a difficult and/or discontinuous school career. They mostly didn’t obtain a diploma and therefore they only have access to low-skilled jobs. Their professional experience is often linked to their excessive drug use. In this population we determined a great need of well considered professional re-orientation.
Second, due to the multi-problem situations on different life areas in which drug-addicted persons live (unemployment, homelessness, relational conflicts, problems with the courts, psychiatric comorbidity) , there is a need for long-term residential treatment in a safe environment. However, this type of long-term treatment should not place the client in a work moratorium nor allow him to stagnate for over a year when it comes to activation. This kind of treatment offers an excellent opportunity to take meaningful and gradual steps towards activation.
In this matter, training/work can also play an as important role as a therapy environment, and present necessary experiences that reinforce the treatment process. The TC-model, in which people are used to do their tasks in a structured and hierarchical context as an essential element of the treatment, offers a select opportunity to introduce training and work abilities towards a complete professional training and employment project.
Since the 1990s, work activation, as a critical factor for rehabilitation of former addicts into society, has been embedded in the genes of De Sleutel with the establishment of its own sheltered workshops. Initially, there were relatively few shared client pathways between the sheltered workshop and the care. Our TC wants to evolve towards integration, based on the already described possibilities offered by the TC-model . However, a work-oriented pathway should already begin at the start of the treatment, focused on reintegration, which requires a different care model.
This project supports the exploration phase in the process of development of a classic, structured TC focused on drug-free reintegration towards a work integrative care model. This first phase demands development and learning in different areas and on different levels: on the one hand, there is the need to explore good practices and methods, which serves as inspiration for one’s own care model; on the other hand, the motivation, the professional learning, and the broader outlook on addiction and care for the individual staff member. After all, care innovation demands change management. Everyone involved needs to be in for the change and the challenges, including the organisation, the client, and the staff. Study visits are excellent opportunities to explore, inspire, examine any doubts. The involvement of the staff members in these activities will reinforce their commitment in the renewed care programme.
Within the network of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities, we are in contact with existing ‘good practices’ – there are no examples in Belgium – in Greece (Kethea Ithaki), and Norway (Haga Phoenix). These contacts will facilitate the organisation of study visits .
Integrating education and work into the treatment of the client. The client starts his re-entry in society during treatment, supported by treatment.
Education and work are solid parts of the treatment drugaddicts.
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