Changes to Intake and Assessment

From July 1, 2017, there will be some changes to the way people access treatment services in Victoria.  The main change will be that, once people have made initial contact with Catchment Intake services individual service providers will now be responsible for completing their own assessments.  This will mean that you will do your assemssment with the service provider who will be providing your treatment.  

If you are planning to use services provided by ReGen, Odyssey House Victoria or other North & West Metro AOD Services partners, the process will remain unchanged.  If you are planning to use other services, you will be referred to the relevant provider for assessment once you have done your initial screening with us (over the phone: 1800 700 514).  

For more information about the changes, see the Department of Health and Human Services' communiques for people who use treatment services and for service providers, or call our Intake team with any queries (1800 700 514).


Eligibility for our services

As part of the Victorian alcohol and other drug treatment reforms, there are some important changes to who is able to use the new services.

The new Intake process is designed to identify the level of your individual needs and which services will provide the most suitable support.  While there is a full range of community services available to cater to people’s different needs, the new alcohol and other drug treatment services are designed for those who are:

  • at risk of long term harm or impairment; &
  • not able to be assisted by primary health care providers alone.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be offered alternative options, such as:

  • Information and advice;
  • Brief counselling (1-2 sessions - in person);
  • Telephone/online counselling (up to six sessions);
  • Group education programs; &
  • Supported referral to relevant services (e.g. mental health, child and family or housing)

Regardless of your level of need, we’ll work with you to make sure you get the support that is most likely to help.


Understanding the Intake process

There will be a single Intake service for each catchment. For us, this means one in each of the Inner North, North, North West and South West catchments. When you call the Intake number (1800 700 514), you will be directed to the service for your catchment.  

This service will be responsible for helping identify people’s level of need for AOD treatment, developing an appropriate treatment plan and supporting people’s referral to relevant AOD services (e.g. withdrawal, counselling, rehabilitation) or referring on to other services. There are a number of options for how you engage with the service: online, by phone, in person at one of our locations, or we’ll come to see you at another service (if that’s more convenient).

Once you have made contact with us, our staff will talk with you to get a quick picture of what your needs are and what sort of help you’re looking for. If you need one of our treatment services (other than information, advice or a single session with one of our counsellors to help get you going) we’ll work with you to do a full assessment of your circumstances and develop a treatment plan that best meets your needs.

A key part of this process will be the confirmation of a person’s treatment plan at our daily Clinical Review meeting. This meeting involves workers from other relevant services that a person is engaged with (such as mental health, housing, family and children services) and will help make sure that services are co-ordinated and consistent. Any significant proposed changes to someone’s treatment plan will be confirmed by Clinical Review to make sure that all service providers are kept up-to-date.

Our Intake staff are available from 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday.  If you call outside these times, you may not receive a follow up call until the next business day.

Services for family members

We provide a range of services to support family members, either on their own, or together with their loved one as part of their treatment. 

In addition to our own services, we also provide regular (free) family support groups in each catchment through our partnership with SHARC.

Choosing your service provider

The Department of Health has made it clear that people have the right to choose their treatment provider, even if that provider operates in a different catchment.

Based on your previous experience with a service or individual worker, you may prefer to continue to maintain your established connection. However, choosing a provider that is not close to you will probably make it more difficult for you to attend regular appointments.

One of the main aims of the reform process is to improve the consistency of services across the State, so there should be less of a difference in how services are delivered and how you are treated by different service providers.

There is a range of different providers and service locations within each catchment. If we can’t provide you with an option that meets your (or your family’s) needs, please let us know so we can help you find an alternative service.

For more information, call our Intake team: 1800 700 514