Country: Austria
TG: drug users
Activity: integrated services, individually tailored, hard skills, training

Fix und Fertig

“We aim to stabilise and to improve the social and technical skills of our employees, so they are able to reintegrate on the regular labour market.”

Organization

fix und fertig is one of 5 institutions of the Suchthilfe Wien, in Vienna, Austria. Suchthilfe Wien is an NGO, with several projects in the field of Drug and addiction aid, such as needle exchange programmes, an emergency shelter, drug checking programmes, out-patient substitution, health care programmes, outreach, etc.

Fix und fertig offers work (re-)integration for drug dependent and alcoholic individuals, and tries to ease (re-)integration onto the regular labour market through qualification, daily work structures and production processes.

All year round, they offer around 45 'daily' workplaces and about 18 'transit' workplaces in three different departments: renovation, serigraphy and mailing & fulfilment. The terms and conditions may vary depending on the personal situation of each of our workers. 'transit' workplaces are contracts for 12 months, 30 to 40 hours a week and the 'daily' workplaces gradually build up the work hours and provide for a daily structure. Moreover, training positions are offered at the daily workplaces to people who want to reach a 'transit' workplace, but aren't yet ready to.

They work with a very tolerant and not-abstinence orientated approach, which creates a lot of opportunities for the target group. In the meantime their strict and precise work ethics, regarding rules etc. helps them to qualify for the regular labour market and offers the necessary framework for our target group to be able to (re-)integrate.

fix und fertig was founded in 1993, and has grown from a small project to the social enterprise it is today. Early 2000 they were briefly funded by the EU, which provided them with a large budget to offer many workplaces. Now they have toned down a little bit, receiving funding from the City of Vienna and the employment services, as well as making their own profits.

Results

They consider their key results for the project to be: 1) their success in lobbying for the target group. There is a higher tolerance and social acceptance of the target group, through work participation and high-quality products; 2) higher qualification and stabilisation for the individuals with whom they work.

At Fix und Fertig participants develop their sociocultural (social skills) and technical skills. For instance they can train their punctuality, conflict management and coping strategies (Within their peer group and/or with their superiors/supervisors), or how to work in a team. Besides they develop technical skills needed at their workplace, such as painting, priming, computer skills, text programmes

They stimulate professional development in various ways. They encourage, even financially, their participants to take courses and advanced trainings, and during the on-the-job-training in their institution they learn to recognise and work on their personal weaknesses, and to develop an intrinsic motivation to enhance their skills. Around 25% percent of the participants are able to reintegrate on the regular labour market after the programme.

More information

Website: www.fixundfertig.at

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Country: The Netherlands
TG: mental health problems + ex-offenders + homeless + drug users
Activity: low-threshold + integrated services

De Stadsbrug

“We are unique because we offer a lot of different options that are not offered elsewhere for this group of people. We treat our participants as equals and take them seriously, we do not focus on problems but on potential. By making our participants contribute we solve a big societal problem. And last but not least, we do it all with a positive attitude and have fun doing the things we do.”

The organisation

At the Stadsbrug various small social firms are housed under one roof, offering work and learning places to people with great distance to the regular labour market. This includes people who are or have a history with addiction, homelessness, mental illness, judicial contacts and all the problems related thereto, like debts, loneliness etc. There are many small firms; some of them are run by a professional and others are run by the participants themselves (consumer run), so the participants have great responsibility for the success of the business. All the different firms work together and make use of each others skills. In this way they create a lot of synergy. All the delivered work is for external customers so it is taken seriously and the quality of the products and services is high.

At the Stadsbrug people learn lots of different work skills. Buro Dagloon offers work in the community like cleaning and park work. The bicycle repair shop repairs and sells bicycles for consumers and businesses. The Speedservice courier service delivers packages and works for all the other projects, like picking up bikes for customers, doing groceries etc. Utrecht Underground are city tours given by former homeless guides to inform people about the history of Utrecht as a hotspot for the homeless. FietsieFoetsie is a workshop where former bike thieves give education about bicycle theft and prevention. They offer lot of different jobs like being a bicycle maker, painter, doing administration, hairdresser, driver, cleaner, adviser, web-designer, photographer, cook, salesman and a lot more. People can work here from 1 to 5 days a week. Accomplishments are based on what they need and what their capacities are. At the time of wiriting there were about 60 participants on the job every day. Since they started four years ago, the number of participants has increased.

De Stadsbrug is run by three different organizations. Altrecht, which is an organisation in mental health, GIDS an organisation specialized in reintegration and SBWU which offers sheltered housing. The project is funded by government, health insurance, funds and commercial revenue (about 30%). They try to be as independent from community money as possible. Therefore, they continuously develop partnerships with other social organizations and commercial businesses.

Results

All in all, the key results of De Stadsbrug are that they offer people serious and significant jobs, which give people future perspectives. De Stadsbrug supports people on their way to regular employment.

Depending on the job they are doing, participants can develop different skills, but one of the main features of all projects is to give people a lot of responsibility for their task. So besides specific work skills the participants also learn about leadership, running a business, working together and being independent. Sometimes participants move on to regular employment. De Stadsbrug works together with independent companies, and that has proven to be a good way to introduce people to regular jobs. About 10% moves on to regular jobs and 10% drops out. The other 80% stays with De Stadsbrug for a long time, sometimes they move on to a different position within De Stadsbrug. Sometimes they drop out for a while because they have to go to jail or rehab, but most of the time they come back. De Stadsbrug offers participants serious jobs, gives them responsibility, gives them trust, challenges them, and takes their opinions and ideas about what should happen very seriously.

More information

Website: www.destadsbrug.nl

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Country - Switzerland
TG:
drug users
Activity: environmentally friendly

Job Tact Recycling

΅Being able to work is an integral part of human existence. Work not only does it secure existence, it is also key to confidence and satisfaction of any individual.”

The organization

Job Tact Recycling is part of Contact Netz Foundation in Bern, Switzerland and was founded in 1995. Since then it has been an integral part of the foundation’s job programmes and social enterprises concept for drug-dependents.

Job Tact is one in a series of different Contact Netz programmes, aiming at offering work opportunities for drug-dependents who are in a programme of substance-based therapy. Job Tact offers work places in social enterprises mainly in the areas of electronic recycling, gardening and construction. In the recycling workshop, electronic equipment and components from entertainment and office industries are professionally disassembled. This is done manually and requires no specialist knowledge and skills. The separated materials may be re-used and re-assembled for other purposes. The gardening and construction firm carries out private and public contracts in the fields of renovation, remodelling, painting, cleaning, moving, etc. in groups of two to eight people. Participants are guided and accompanied by professionals on the construction sites. No specialist knowledge is needed, however the jobs require strong physical condition. In addition, the programme offers part-time jobs in the public sector. Clients who apply for these jobs have to be realistic about their abilities and performance and show self-control with regard to their dependency. They are supported and accompanied by their managers.

The project aims at creating working opportunities. Clients are enabled to quickly find a workplace without facing administrative hurdles. Participants should be enabled to get back and enhance social competencies such as punctuality, endurance, co-operation in a group, self-reliance, etc. They should learn to realistically evaluate their work potential and social competencies. Although jobs are established in a protected work environment, they are adapted to those in the open labour market.

In the long-term, Job Tact aims at re-integrating participants into the open labour market. Realistically, and because of the rather huge social deficits of its participants, this is a far-reaching goal demanding intensive support and co-operation of all supporting staff.

In order to achieve a positive development in their lives, clients of this project need appropriate assistance. This assistance is linked to a two-step model that separates workers into two groups at the time of their job start: employment and low skill level work.

Results

The job offers of Contact Netz provide drug-dependents with a real-world frame of reference mainly through self-generating costs. Hence, the re-integration happens in a cost-effective and fast-paced way. Contact Netz generates more than 50% of its costs through their own economic activity. Job Tact Recycling in particular generates a lower income (subsidy vs. income ratio is about 5:1) and all its income is made through the recycling of computers.

All in all Contact Netz offers and innovative combination of social tasks and entrepreneurship, through 90 jobs tailored to drug-dependents, as well as a daily structure and bridge back to the free labour market for drug-dependents.

More information

Website: www.contactnetz.ch

 


Country - Germany
TG: drug users
Activity:
product sales, commercial, hard skills, low-threshold, gardening/agriculture

Mudra Berufliche Integration

“We installed a permanent quality management system to ensure the ongoing development of our organisation”


The organisation

Mudra vocational training and employment services is part of Mudra Alternative Jugend- und Drogenhilfe Nürnberg e.V. in Germany. They strive to help drug addicted persons in finding their way back to the job market. In their different projects there are various possibilities for qualified job trainings. They also offer low threshold opportunities to acquire basic competences that are needed in all kinds of jobs. Their goals are not limited to the direct needs of the job market but also include psychosocial counselling and support in other important domains. There is more information about this in the UNODC-Document about Sustained Recovery Management.Mudra's project leader was a member of the working group responsible for the document.

The participants can work for all sorts of projects, such as forestry, a women’s workshop for costumes, jewellery and sewing, cleaning services, cabinet maker’s workshop, gardening and landscaping, a day labour project, and training in business administration. At the time of writing these projects offered work to around 90 participants, and the numbers were increasing over time. The forestry project was founded in 1985, so Mudra has many years of experience in work reintegration. In all their work they aim to improve the situation of recovering drug addicts concerning job integration, connected with psychosocial counselling

About 50% of the Mudra services is financed through the sales of their goods and services. Their offer is quite extensive. To get an impression of what they sell you may visit their online shop (in German) at: http://mudra-shop.de/. The remainder of their financing is through funding from the Employment Agency, State of Bavaria, District government, City of Nuremberg, Integration Office (responsible for job integration of handicapped persons) and some donations.

Results

The key results of Mudra are that they contribute to a reduced crime rate, they reduce relapses, and they help to improve the work competences of their target group. Concerning the last point they do not only assist in the development of basic skills, but they also offer formal gardening and landscaping training as well as business administration. Not many participants move on to regular employment, as the main target group is long-term drug users with multiple problems. On average about 20% moves on, 60% stays on the same level, 20% drops out. In their work they often see younger participants with no work experience and no qualifications, and older participants with increasing health problems, for whom it is hard to move on to regular employment as the current job market has very few opportunities for unqualified, older and less productive peoples. However, through combining their integration programme with psychosocial counselling, and better payment for more challenging jobs, Mudra does manage to motivate the professional development of its participants. In the near future they will focus on the challenges of new drugs, and adapting job offers to older and less fit participants.

More information

Website: www.mudra-online.de

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Country - Germany
TG: drug users
Activities:
food & drinks

Café Seidenfaden

Café Seidenfaden (silk thread) is an alcohol-and drug-free woman café from the organisation Frau sucht Zukunft in the center of Berlin, near the Hackescher Markt. It is a certified labour and training project for abstinent addicts and otherwise disadvantaged, long-term unemployed women who want to work in the restaurant industry. They offer daily changing lunch menus, a seasonal à la carte menu, homemade cakes, coffee and tea, soft drinks and a variety of fruity non-alcoholic cocktails. We place special emphasis on quality and freshness, we largely avoid flavor enhancers and use local produce as much as possible.
Café Seidenfaden's guests can relax in a pleasant atmosphere and entertain, socialise and enjoy a delicious meal. Saturday is family day.

The café offers work experience, on the job training and employment with additional earnings associated with professional orientation. Gastronomic expertise and professional qualifications as a specialist in hospitality or office clerk can be obtained through entry-level training, retraining and education. When learning and working qualified instructors and trainers support in the kitchen, service, housekeeping, catering, and secretariat. Their particular interest lies in offering a caring working environment and good team work. It is always their goal to expand the number of apprenticeships and jobs, primarily through their full-service catering. Benchmark for all their activities is the satisfaction of their customers and employees .

More information:

Website: http://www.frausuchtzukunft.de/fsz/index.php?page=proj_cafe-seidenfaden

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Country - Czech Republic
Target group:
drug users
Activity: product sales, commercial

EIKON

“It is crucial to find consensus between the needs of the target group and a business idea that is successful on the market, thus harmonising the social and economical points of view in the project activities.”

Organization

Project officially started in its current location and form in the year 2000. From 1993 to 2000 it was developing as part of a therapeutic community from which it later separated. The idea came from some people working in Sdružení Podané Ruce (SPR), who as believers have connections and experience in religious spheres. They expected that the production of wooden icons could contribute to SPR's fund-raising. Over time the project has developed its business attitude into the WIP it is today. The project aims at the SPR target group, namely people with a history of drug abuse, who have undergone or are currently undergoing some kind of treatment and have evident motivation to change. This target group includes long-term unemployed people, people with health disabilities and people coming out of prison – all of them with a history of drug abuse.

The aim of the project is social integration of marginalised people, training of their work skills and improvement of their employability, while offering access to legal income. EIKON contributes to the employability of former drug users. This is done by involving participants in the production of icons and the overall functioning of the workshop, while teaching clients how to act professionally and self-reflect.

Eikón's applicants go through an entrance interview and assessment. If successful a temporary employment contract is concluded. After that follows an entrance training which takes a maximum of 3 days. New people gets to know every working procedure available in the workshop. Work in the workshop itself is mostly collective, people change their particular working position as needed due to current workshop production and one´s abilities. Two occupational possibilities are available: (medium-term – more than 6 months, nowadays involves 3 persons) and short-term (150 working hours/year, usually 2 months). During their occupation in the workshop clients are encouraged to look for a job on the regular market. Work at the workshop consists of production of religious wooden icons and various souvenirs.

Results

The most important result is contribution to the employment of the target group. About 20 people a year are offered a job in the workshop. On average, about half of the workshop employees move on to regular employment.

The project is evaluated by the income from sales and the interest of the target group in employment in the workshop. While Czech policy does not provide for a solid structure to safeguard the financing of WIPs, the project has three major financial contributors, namely: Česká Spořitelna Foundation (Česká spořitelna is one of the largest Czech banks), Southmoravian Region and Brno City. Besides, the project runs for 40% on its own income, so EIKON also has a lot of commercial partners, such as religious supplies retailers.

An essential part is the so called “social capital”: enthusiastic, experienced and skilled employees with the right ideas.

More information

Website: http://www.podaneruce.cz/programy-a-pece/eikon-program-pracovni-rehabilitace-a-chranene-prace/


Country - Bosnia & Herzegovina
TG: drug users
Activity:
gardening/agriculture

PROI

The organisation

The PROI association has existed for over 13 years and during this period it has realised numerous programmes and projects related to social inclusion, employment, education and training for socially marginalised groups such as intravenous drug users and sex workers. Their work has made the PROI association an acknowledged and reputable NGO in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of social inclusion and work integration.

Project "Youth employment through social partnership" is the response to the problems of social exclusion, unemployment and poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina asone of the poorestcountries in Europe. On the basisof relevant dataandresearch, more than 87% of the members of socially marginalised groups are directly affected by these problems. This project is the first and only example of such a project that treats ​​social inclusion and employment of socially marginalised groups in B&H based on innovative ideas: creative gardening, horticulture and arrangement of public areas, based on social partnership and social entrepreneurship. The target group are injecting drug users and sex workers from urban areas without employment and basic non-formal education.

In this project, they implemented initial activities aimed at basic education and training of target group members, in which they learned to write a CV and motivation letter, how to apply for a job and the basics of a culture of dialogue and adequate manner. In these activities, there were over 140 former and current injection drug users and sex workers. After that, the best, most persistentandmost interested 25 members of the target group were educated theoretically and practically and trained in creative gardening, horticulture and arrangement of public areas.This project also included 35 people as representatives of relevant government agencies and employers as support and necessary assistance in the establishment of social partnership.

Results

Based on established social partnerships between Association PROI and relevant social partners, the employment of 11 participants has been ensured in sectors of production and social partners with jobs in creative gardening and horticulture. The employment has provided motivation and enthusiasm, better and easier social inclusion of target group members and general social benefits to the local community. Due to the high demand for this kind of work, where is no strong competition in the market offers. Social entrepreneurship in this business area is justified and economically profitable, with socially marginalised groups as main employees.

More information

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website: http://www.ugproi.com/en/

 


Country - Portugal
Target group:
homeless + drug users + mental health problems
Activity:
Commercial + product sales + environmentally friendly

Cais

“It is important to develop a structured plan for a project, in short, medium and long terms. We also consider it important to conduct frequent assessment of the plan due to an ever changing context.”

The organisation

The “Cais Recicla” project started in May 2011 through a partnership between a private company (UNICER) and and an NGO (Cais) combining the needs of both parties. For Unicer, it was important to be an environmental friendly company; for CAIS, it was important to respond to the need for job placement and capacity building of the target groups. At Cais Recicla they use waste products for the manufacturing of new design products. After the creative process, the designer of the product provides training to the craftsmen, so they can manufacture the design using their own creative insight. Sometimes they also create or adjust exclusive products for a company or institution, or they work on simple hand-work orders from partners.

The association’s target group are people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. In general, CAIS´ target group includes people living in poverty, who normally have various other social problems. They may not only be ex-homeless, but also have had drug, alcohol and/or psychiatric problems. CAIS works with people that already have accommodation, because they have to have some basic stability and self-esteem to fulfil the work requirements.

The main aim of this project is the social-professional capacity building of people in situations of poverty and social exclusion. Specific objectives of Cais are: 1) to support the development of self-reliance of the target group; 2) to give the target group the possibility to acquire a fair compensation; 3) commercialise the developed products; and 4) obtain the sustainability of the business. So there are two types of objectives: those that are related to the target group and the others related to the business. They have social aims but no prejudices related to business objectives, because those are the ones that allows them to maintain the project and achieve sustainability.

The products are disseminated and marketed through a catalogue. The dissemination strategy is a priority element to be improved in this project. Through the last collection of Ecodesign they contacted a famous person and produced a photography session covered by invited social media. They often refuse invitations to small events because they refuse a “pity perspective” on their work. They want people to pay for their aesthetics and quality with a social contribution bonus.

Results

The public recognition of the project is the best result. This recognition led to the award of the prize to the Programme CAHO (Empowering Today) of the CAIS Association, by the European Economic and Social Committee. Through constant analysis and evaluation of results, various modifications were introduced along the way, such as diversification of the products, enlargement of partnerships, as well as continuous necessary adaptation of the project to the context. Although the concept of the project remains the same, it is essential to think and adapt the project continuously.

The elements of success identified are: the cooperation between those involved and the combined efforts working on a shared goal, the excellent quality and recognition of the products, and the recognition and appreociation of the work done by all the people in the project.

More information

Website: www.cais.pt

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Country - Portugal
TG:
drug users
Activity:
hard skills + product sales + gardening/agriculture

Dianova

Organization

The plant nursery and the Viveiros Dianova greenhouse are part of Dianova, an NGO specialised in drug and alcohol treatment and certified training, in Portugal. Since April 2000, this social enterprise works on sustainable and social goals through the employment and empowerment of 13 people. They are specialised in the production of plants and flowers. The social enterprise hires people that have completed a drug and alcohol rehab programme, 45+ unemployed people, or those without higher education or professional qualifications and experience, as well as socially vulnerable peoples. At the workplace the employees have regular 8 hour workdays, during which everyone works according to their own capacity. The employees are responsible for the growth and production of plants and flowers, ranging from seeding, plant nourishment, to the final sale of the product. Of the 13 employees, 8 have already become regular staff members and 5 are in the process of a 2-year training in general professional skills as well as floriculture specifics. Since its foundation the social enterprise has benefited 52 people. For all these people the overall aim was to increase their professional capabilities and so stimulating social reintegration on the regular labour market. Moreover, the sales of Dianova's plants increases the NGOs revenue and sustainability in the long term. The 5 specialised work places are co-subsidized for a 2-year period frame by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and its sustainable goal relies on the sales of the produced plants and flowers to the national Portuguese market.

Results

All in all the social enterprise has reintegrated 52 people socio-professionally. They have done so through empowerment, the teaching of social and professional skills, advocacy for equal opportunities and the promotion of self-employment. At the workplace the employees learn new social and relational soft skills (team work, self esteem, conflict management, time management, autonomy reinforcement) as well as hard skills (greenhouse/ stove maintenance, plants and plagues biology, plant trimming, garden plants and house plants, main rules for care of plants). These skills are taught through various ways, namely: psychosocial support, training sessions throughout the year on soft and hard skills, as well as corporate celebrations designed to increase employee engagement. Although reduced financial support has made it difficult to hire a manager that can make the enterprise more profitable and the outcome of the work is dependent of the weather, the enterprise has turned out to be rather successful. Not only have they been running for more than 13 years, they have also benefited more than 50 highly disadvantaged individuals, and have constantly adapted to the changing market needs. Thus, in the years to come they will continue to optimise their efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise, hoping to maintain their level of employees and increase their revenue.

More information

Website: www.dianova.pt

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Country - Portugal
TG:
drug users, (ex) offenders
Activity:
peer involvement, training

InPAR

“Through the collection and systematisation of data, our process and outcome results proved the efficacy of peer workers. This was used in our advocacy for their recognition and for building relationships of trust between organisations/teams and peers.”

Organization

InPAR was a two-year project run by the Portuguese NGO APDES, from August 2009 until July 2011. InPAR was an experimental project at national level in the area of professional and social reintegration aimed at unemployed people who use drugs, but motivated to work. The project was worked on in close cooperation with harm reduction interventions. It was anchored in action-research principles, with participative methodologies playing a crucial role in the process of implementation and evaluation of the project. The project was implemented in the north of Portugal and studied/developed a reintegration methodology in socio-professional responses for people who use drugs, namely through peer work. The overall aim was to highlight the facilitating factors and obstacles in this process of integration and identifying good practices/recommendations for future projects. Regarding the integration of drug users as peer workers the objectives were the following: Integrate 8 drug users in outreach teams and facilitate their bio-psycho-social stabilisation; Offer training and follow up for these persons as peer workers; Facilitate conditions for the integration of peer educators into the outreach teams, as well as into their supporting organisations; Develop a professional and social reintegration methodology, identifying facilitating factors and obstacles for the integration of drug users as peer workers; Contribute to the recognition of the profession of peer worker.

This project was the starting point of two other projects, namely:

  1. PREVIH, integration of Sex Workers as Peer Educators in Harm Reduction Projects. APDES is responsible for the training of the sex workers, implementation and adaptation of the peer educator’s integration model on sex work intervention (together with Porto University);
  2. Vanguarda, a prevention Project in a Prison, aimed to train and develop a peer education methodology inside a prison.

Results

The main conclusions achieved by InPAR are brought together in the manual "O Trabalho primeiro" [Working First - Manual for Employability of Drug Users and Recommendations for Integration through Peer Education]. This manual was published in June 2012 and since then 300 copies have been disseminated through the project partners, national outreach teams, universities and professional training resource centres.

The main results showed a relevant change of the situation in Portugal: 4 peers integrated with formal contract with the organisation after the project end, and 2 peers were doing voluntary work (10 Peers were followed throughout the project); increased recognition of the peer workers' contributions to Outreach Teams; Policy impact suggested by the firm commitment from the public funder to study/adopt criteria for applications evaluation where the inclusion of a Peer Worker in the outreach team can be valued; Creation of a methodology for promoting the employability of drug users, particularly in Peer Work, through identification of key factors (obstacles and facilitators) for integration.

The model developed by InPAR was implemented in a project held in the prison context, with prisoners as peer educators, and in a project involving outreach teams that intervene in the sex work area, with sex workers as peer workers. Also, the model lends itself for further distribution in other countries and/or settings, for instance by using the previously mentioned manual as a training tool.

More information

Website: http://www.apdes.pt/en/project_inpar.php or

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index52035EN.html?project_id=01PT10&tab=overview

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Country - United Kingdom
TG:
drug users, homeless, (ex) offenders
Activities: peer involvement, training

Addiction Worker Training Programme

“Trainees provide an inspirational role to service users, showing them what can be achieved if they persevere in recovery, which is particularly helpful for those struggling to engage, who feel the cultural gap between professional services and their own lifestyles. Trainees can often provide critical words of encouragement which are listened to because of their own background, or help to diffuse problems by reassuring service users who might have barriers to talking to staff.”

Organization

The Addiction worker Training Project is managed and co-ordinated by the Scottish Drugs Forum. SDF is a voluntary, membership based organisation with nearly 300 organisational and individual members across Scotland. SDF primarily focuses on improving the quality, range and effectiveness of service and policy responses to problematic drug use in Scotland, reducing future and recurring problematic drug use and promoting and sustaining recovery from drug problems.

Scottish Drugs Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Programme (AWTP) is a unique, multi-agency funded initiative which trains, and prepares individuals with a history of problematic drug and alcohol use to work in social care whilst receiving an intensive package of support. The project was launched in 2004 to help former substance users prepare for employment through in-work placements and formal learning. Scottish Drugs Forum works in partnership with accredited learning providers and alongside frontline services to provide training for students who include former homeless people and ex-offenders who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment. Course participants must be two years drug free, including substitute prescribing and two years problem drinking free.

Trainees are supported to complete two full time six month work placements with partner organisations, complete an industry standard qualification, and have access to a variety of training and workshop opportunities related to issues in the care field. Trainees are supported to be involved in the day to day duties that placement staff carry out, and attend placements three to four days per week, with a day for study or learning. Placements are accessed in social care projects with a key focus on addictions. Project partners offer trainees invaluable work experience in residential, community, and outreach based projects with a range of service users, and offer additional training to supplement that provided by SDF. Initially, trainees shadow other members of staff, building relationships with colleagues and service users, and learning about the project policies and procedures. In subsequent weeks and months, trainees are supervised to participate in the tasks of support workers. Tasks include, but are not limited to: working with service users, liaising with other agencies, carrying out assessments, key-working, group work, accompanying service users on journeys, accessing and updating client files and records and community outreach.

Results

SDF currently has 14 Trainee Addiction Workers on the 2013-14 course in Glasgow, and 8 Trainee Addiction Workers in the East of Scotland. Since 2004, the lowest number of trainees has been 11, with the highest number reaching 22.

Nearly 90% of those who start the course complete, with 85% of those completing moving in to further employment, the vast majority to full time jobs in the Social Care and Addiction fields. The AWTP provides a resource of motivated and highly trained staff for the care sector, and an opportunity for people with direct experience of services to inform practice as project participants and ultimately as staff members. Overall, the project has resulted in more people previously outside the labour market are employed as trainee addiction workers (127 people since 2004), more people who have recovered from substance misuse have improved their employability skills and achieved an industry standard qualification (114 people since 2004), and more people who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment related to their past substance misuse have moved in to further employment post project completion (97 people since 2004).

AWTP has a direct impact on trainees and their families, however wider beneficiaries include placement agencies and their service users. Through their placement experience, one trainee can support and provide interventions to up to 85 people experiencing problems with substance use over the duration of the course.

More information

Website: http://www.sdf.org.uk/moving-on/addiction-workers-training-project-awtp/

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