Building Big Dreams – Parent’s and Children’s Program Expansion Project

We’re expanding our family rehabilitation program to help more parents develop new life skills and a safe home environment for their children. We need your support to make this Big Dream a reality! 

Feasibility Study - 100% complete
Design - 100% Complete
Funding - 50%
Construction - 0%

In Australia, more than 13 per cent of all children are raised by adults who misuse alcohol or drugs(1). While more than 60,000 have a parent in rehabilitation(2), this can sometimes trigger family dislocation and create even more challenges for children.

Our residential Parent’s and Children’s Program enables single mothers and fathers, as well as couples, to receive treatment for harms associated with alcohol and other drug use while maintaining care of their children—in a safe learning environment so positive and lasting change can occur.

With your help, we will double the number of families we can accommodate in our 3-12-month+ residential program from 4-7 to 16 family groups, depending on family setup.

About the Program 

The Parent’s and Children’s Program in South West Sydney is part of our Reconnecting Families suite of services. It is just one of a few Australian residential programs, and the only one in NSW, in which single mothers, fathers and couples can maintain care of their children during rehabilitation 

While parents receive treatment and education to help them address harms associated with alcohol and other drug use, they also develop a safe home environment for their children, support restoration and reduce the need for future out-of-home care. Parents receive guidance from family support workers and improve their life skills through parenting and education courses.   

Children attend early childhood centres or primary school locally and receive psychological, paediatric and specialist support to break the cycle of generational drug and alcohol use.   

Our research-driven approach reflects best contemporary practice and ensures families experience a collaborative, planned and cohesive response to recovery and improving their physical and mental health, housing, employment, family and relationships.   

We know supportive ongoing relationships are critical to recovery, and our skilled staff ensure every parent and child receives efficient, effective, and continuing care.  

(1) Gruenert, Ratnam & Tsantefski 2004, p.5
(2) Figure 3 National plan for the Health of Children and Young People March 2018

The Expansion Project 

In Australia, there is large unmet need for residential treatment across the spectrum of family setup; single fathers, mothers, couples, parents seeking restoration of care, and pregnant women. 

In 2019, we received a private donation of $1 million to expand the Parent’s and Children’s Program. While existing accommodation comprises 12 rooms built for single mothers with one child, variations in modern family setup mean capacity is often reduced by 25 per cent. From 2016-19, the number of single fathers participating in our program grew from 16 to 40 percent, and on average 12 per cent of families in this program now include couples. 

An independent feasibility study found modification of current accommodation is structurally and economically unfeasible. The study recommended we increase capacity by knocking down and rebuilding new purpose-built accommodation and rehabilitation facilities suitable for families.  

Construction will cost around $4 million 

Planning is well underway. In July 2020, we appointed APP Contractors to manage the Expansion Project and in December 2020 submitted our development application to Campbelltown Council. We anticipate construction approval in 2021 and completion early 2022.  

With some of this funding in hand and fundraising underway, our priority is to maximise the impact of project funds to best help families break the cycle of generational drug and alcohol misuse. 

If you have any questions or suggestions about this or any other of our projects, please contact us on info@odysseyhouse.com.au

The following animations share the journey of two clients through the Parents and Children’s Program.