Professional Toolkit

General resources
Information resources (databases, reports, statistics).
Research in brief 
Easy to read summaries of latest research from Australia.  
Special interest
Information resources for special areas eg management, nursing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, CALD communities, and prison workers.


Family Liaison

The following is a list of resources for those working with families. This page focuses on alcohol and other drug issues and contains information on statistics, guidelines and frameworks, recommended readings and online resources. These resources are updated regularly. If you have any suggestions or additions for this page please contact the NDSIS.

Key organisations

The Australian Institute of Family Studies
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (the Institute) is an Australian Government statutory agency within the portfolio of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The aim is to conduct research and communicate findings that affect family wellbeing to:
- policy makers;
- service providers; and
- the broader community.

Kids in focus - Odyssey House Victoria
A specialist child, parenting and family support service for highly vulnerable families where a parent has an alcohol and/or other drug problem. Kids in Focus provides a range of intensive interventions. The program aims to identify and address both the needs of the parents and their children.

Kids in Focus Capacity Building and Services for Professionals;
- Secondary consultation though telephone advice and support, offering assistance with immediate      problem solving and information and skills development
- Opportunities for professional development and training
- Resources and information via the Odyssey House Victoria website

Guidelines and tools

For Kids' Sake: A Family Sensitive Policy and Practice Toolkit
National Centre for Education & Training on Addiction (NCETA), 2010.
For Kids’ Sake, A Family Sensitive Policy and Practice Toolkit is a comprehensive resource kit that offers ideas and practical suggestions that organisations can adopt to be more child and family sensitive.
Hard copies can be ordered free of charge from here.

For kids' sake: A workforce development resource for family sensitive policy and practice in the alcohol and other drugs sector
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) 2010.
This resource is designed to provide workforce development/capacity building knowledge and strategies for alcohol and other drug interventions that are sensitive to the needs of, and involve, families and children. The focus is on Family Sensitive Policy and Practice where there are parents and caregivers
who misuse alcohol or drugs and who have children and adolescents under 18 years in their care.

The family focus toolkit: A resource kit for family work in the alcohol and other drugs sector
Eastern Drug & Alcohol Service (EDAS) Victoria, 2010
The Toolkit for AOD Family Work is a collection of selected resources including screening tools, questionnaires, worksheets, and utility practice tools gathered from the sector, research and professional bodies. Each tool was chosen by the Family Focus Project Team for its relevance to both clinicians and clients of the EDAS Family Service.

Tools for change: A new way of working with families and carers
Network of Alcohol & other Drug Agencies, NSW Health.
The purpose of this toolkit is to assist services in moving towards a more family inclusive model where all parties are considered engaged, supported and involved. With the diversity of services provided in the NSW health system, it is anticipated that the outcome of this will look different for each organisation, acknowledging the different philosophies and capacities of services to respond to the needs of this client group and their families.

Breaking the Silence: Addressing family and domestic violence problems in alcohol and other drug treatment practice in Australia
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, 2012
This review explores the relationship between alcohol and other drug (AOD) and FDV services. It focuses on strategies that may be developed to enhance the responses of AOD treatment providers to FDV issues affecting clients and their children.

Can I ask...? An alcohol and drug clinician’s guide to addressing family and domestic violence
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction and Odyssey House Victoria, 2013
This resource explores the relationship between AOD and FDV, with a focus on identifying how the AOD sector can better support clients who have co-occurring AOD and FDV issues, and minimise associated harms experienced by their children.

More information

All resources not online are held in the National Drugs Sector Information Service. For further information contact the NDSIS.


Argyle Research, (2011) Family inclusive practice in NSW non government alcohol and other
drug agencies.
Sydney: Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies

Trifonoff, A., Duraisingam, V., Roche, A. M., & Pidd, K. (2010). Taking First Steps. What Family Sensitive Practice Means for Alcohol and Other Drug Workers: A Survey Report  National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University Adelaide.

Contole, Julie, O'Neill, Cas, Mitchell, Gaye & Absler, Deborah (2008) Counting the kids: final evaluation report Victoria: Odyssey House.

Sally Frye, Sally ... [et al.] (2008) Supporting the families of young people with problematic drug use : investigating support options. Canberra: Australian National Council on Drugs.

Dawe, Sharon ... [et al.] (2007) Drug use in the family : impacts and implications for children. Canberra: Australian National Council on Drugs.

Gruenert,Stefan, Ratnam, Samantha & Tsantefski, Menka (2004) The Nobody's Clients Project : identifying and addressing the needs of children with substance dependent parents : Full report Melbourne: Odyssey Institute of Studies.



Samantha Battams & Ann Roche (2011) Child wellbeing and protection concerns and the response of the alcohol and other drugs sector in Australia. Advances in Mental Health; 10 (1): pp. 62-71.

There are growing concerns regarding child wellbeing and protection across many countries. This paper assesses the legitimacy of these concerns in the Australian context and explores the relationship between alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use by parents and child wellbeing and protection. The paper considers evidence on the relationship between AOD use by parents and child wellbeing and protection. It examines the potential role of the AOD sector in child welfare outcomes, in the context of social determinants of health.

Bamberg, John, Findley, Steven & Toumbourou, John (2006) The BEST plus approach to assisting families recover from youth substance problems. Youth Studies Australia, 25 (2): 25-32.
The Best plus program is a whole-of-family therapy option for families to address not only youth substance abuse issues, but also challenging and antisocial adolescent behaviours. It uses an evidence-based strategy that can be implemented widely in the community, and is proving to be a popular and relevant framework for professionals to engage and assist families in reducing adolescent problem behaviours. Evaluations indicate that the program is an effective forum for parents and siblings of adolescent drug abusers to redevelop positive family environments that encourage responsible behaviour and recovery from drug abuse.


Last updated on May 9, 2013 by Drugfields