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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4314 ..

Alcohol and Drug Program

(Question No. 206)

Ms Tucker asked the Minister for Health and Community Care, upon notice, on 16 November 1999:

In relation to the restructure of the Alcohol and Drug Program's client intake system, and in light of your answer to my Question on 12 October 1999 (Hansard, p.68):

(1) What research has been undertaken to support the decision to move away from the drop-in, duty-counsellor system to a phone-intake system.

(2) Did this research include any study of:

(a) methods of service delivery in the drug and alcohol counselling field;

(b) the effects of phone contact vs personal contact for people in crisis;

(c) the cultural appropriateness of phone-intake vs personal contact intake for different groups, such as indigenous people, and people from a non-English speaking background; and

(d) the psychology of personal contact in assessing, treating and counselling people regarding drug or alcohol use.

(3) Under the duty-counsellor system, how long did clients who dropped in to the service seeking assistance wait before they were given their first in-person contact with a counsellor.

(4) Since the implementation of the new phone-intake system:

(a) how long have people waited to actually have face to face contact with a counsellor from the time that they first contact the Program:

(b) how many people have not turned up for their pre-arranged counselling appointments and how does this compare with the same period last year.

(5) What arrangements are in place for staff located in the intake unit to physically attend to clients who are assessed to be 'category 1 - crisis intervention', and therefore require an immediate response, i.e. within 0-2 hours.

(6) What training and support mechanisms for the staff of the Alcohol and Drug Program have been implemented as part of the implementation of the restructure.

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