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Aftercare: Helping young people stay well

By September 28, 2023No Comments

This September is Recovery Month, and we are shining a spotlight on the recovery process. One of the most crucial steps to recovery for young people is Aftercare. 

Young people who receive Residential Rehabilitation or Withdrawal services enabled by Sir David Martin Foundation receive up to six months of Aftercare. Every young person is paired with an Aftercare Worker when they leave residential care, who assists them by adopting a person-centred approach and leading with trauma informed care. This way each young person gets the help they need.  

Why do young people need Aftercare?

Recovery is not straightforward. It’s a long-term process and it’s common for young people to need support when they are returning to the community after completing rehabilitation. They often need to build a new life and break out of old habits.  

Access to Aftercare means young people can develop a plan to help with triggers, cravings and the stress of returning to the community. The risk of relapse is highest in the first few months after someone leaves rehab. Working with their Aftercare Worker, developing an Aftercare plan and having the right support in place can help to prevent relapse. A 2020 report by Sir David Martin Foundation found that two thirds of the value of our service model is created through our active Aftercare program. (1) 

Todd Beddie, an Aftercare Worker at Triple Care Farm, says, “Ultimately, the Aftercare Worker is someone who will be there to answer the phone when a young person calls in a time of need, i.e. “Can you help me with this?” or “I don’t know what to do, please help me.” 

For young people, this can be exactly what they need. Elli, a young person who has completed the Aftercare program at Triple Care Farm, says, “My Aftercare worker is awesome. She helped me form a solid foundation to ensure my transition to the outside world would be successful. She helped me find housing and an art course at TAFE which I am really excited about.” 

Aftercare works on developing, mending and building social and family relationships. It ensures the young person has goals and an outcome plan before exiting residential program. Appropriate supports need to be in place such a housing, legal, AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) supports, Centrelink, employments, education and health and wellbeing needs.  

Aftercare for every young person

Young people with addiction across Australia can have access to Aftercare with the Youth Network, an expansion of Sir David Martin Foundation’s Aftercare program.  

The Youth Network provides youth-specific Aftercare at sites across Australia. It is currently established in:  

  •  Southern Highlands, NSW – Triple Care Farm 
  • Perth, WA – Drug and Alcohol Youth Service, DAYS  
  • Dubbo, NSW – Mac River Centre 
  • Batemans Bay, NSW – Wallawaani

 Find out more about our youth programs.  


  1. Evolve 2020: Are we doing enough for young people with drug and alcohol addiction?