Archive 2015-2016



A number of meetings have already taken place for community members with the aim of creating an environment that supports the growth of the CoP identity,  nurtures relationships between CoP members and supports individuals in their evolving and challenging role in Care and Recovery Coordination.

You can find further information about previous CoP meetings below including power point presentations.



The Care and Recovery Coordination Community of Practice has begun the New Year on a productive note with our first meeting held on the 26th of February.  A mixture of old and new faces made a fantastic contribution to the continuing growth of our CoP. A decision was made that future meetings will consist of a combination of Group Supervision, Case Studies/Case Practice and Presentations from experts in the sector. Many great ideas were suggested to improve the CoP Webpage and the use of webinars in future meetings will allow greater access particularly for those in regional and rural catchments. Most of all great discussions were had around current issues that members are contending with as well as much sage advice offered in an environment were all were willing to help one another.

For more detail open in Minutes
Friday 26th February 2016


The Care and Recovery Coordination Community of Practice continues to thrive with 22 members attending our second meeting for the year.  David Best delivered an informative and thought-provoking seminar on Recovery and the importance of considering the role of peers in supporting recovery through mutual aid and support. Members later discussed the importance of community linkage and long-term recovery planning. To this end members will start to develop a list of resources of potential services and supports in the community that clients could potentially be actively referred to. 

View David Best's PowerPoint Slides
View the agenda for this meeting
For more detail open Minutes


Meeting No 3 commenced with a case presentation by our member Linden Townsend (thanks Linden). This presentation raised the many challenges for care and recovery coordination that members could relate to in their work with complex clients who have a range of psychosocial and mental health problems as well as alcohol and other drug use. Our focus is always on providing client centred care. Clients are often not ready to make changes in all the areas where their problems lie. All members were generous and thoughtful in their suggestions and possible strategies that may be useful. Importantly it was acknowledged that work with this client was underpinned with hope and strength based capability.

The second part of this meeting was a seminar delivered by Liv Dowling Mindfulness Educator, Smiling Mind. This 90 minute interactive presentation covering lots of information about mindfulness. This included practical exercises to demonstrate Mindfulness and Meditation and understanding why we meditate and need to practice mindfulness. All the research to support benefits of mindfulness and meditation was covered. All members will take away what they have learnt and practice mindfulness in their daily life. Self-care is important!

Friday 13th May 2016
View the agenda for this meeting
For more detail open Minutes


Friday 10th June 2016 

Meeting No 4 was another great gathering and members were treated to an informative and interactive presentation by Robyn Mills who is the Mental Health and Disability Advocacy training and practice coordinator form Victorian Legal Aid. Robyn was very generous with her time and we even went away with a Legal Aid show bag jammed packed with information material. 

The focus of this presentation was on Guardianship Orders. The presentation explained to members the legal criteria for a guardianship order; the process of applying for a guardianship order and for removal of guardianship orders. We also had time to look at ‘Capacity’ and what this means for clients’ decision making as well as Powers of Attorney. We now know that we all need to consider the benefits of having an Enduring Power of Attorney in place for ourselves. This presentation will be available at this space in early July.

View the agenda for this meeting For more detail open Minutes


Friday 15th July 2016

Meeting 5 turned out to be another informative and interesting get together for our Care & Recovery Coordination Workers Community of Practice. Kerri Felemonow from the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Service (WADS), the Women’s Hospital used a case study to provide us with an understanding of the care provided for pregnant women who use drugs. The case study demonstrated some of the ethical dilemmas and complexity of work with these patients.  We also had a presentation that looked at an historical perspective of women’s drug use as well as continuing the theme of women who are pregnant and who use drugs and the double deviancy that is too often attributed to these women and the consequences of this moral panic. Finally the meeting provided an opportunity for ACSO to receive feedback from members on the referral process either through the COATS program or AOD Intake and Assessment services in regional Victoria. 

View the agenda for this meeting
For more detail open Minutes


Friday 12th August 2016
View the agenda for this meeting
To attend this meeting, fill in the registration form here.



There were several aims for this first meeting including attempting to clarify what exactly Care and Recovery Coordination involves. We discovered that many members were still very unclear about their role and that among participants a great diversity existed. What all members had in common was the amount of paper work, time spent with inter and intra agency liaison and meetings and a feeling of working in isolation. This meeting was able to uncover many issues that a Community of Practice can help address and so gave us some direction for moving forward. The contributions of those who attended were rich and although lengthy the minutes are well worth a read.

To view the minutes, click here.

Care and Recovery Coordination CoP’s met for the inaugural meeting on March 26th, and based on discussions at this meetings CoP members identified a range of learning areas that would assist in their work roles. 

(This image is from the CR&C inaugural meeting.  Participants were asked to identify learning needs with a pink sticker).

The clear priorities identified through this needs analysis exercise were (1) trauma informed care and (2) working with clients who have an acquired brain injury. These were followed by: working with forensic clients, increasing knowledge for working with housing sector, pharmacotherapies, new and emerging drug trends, motivational interviewing, C.B.T ., outcome monitoring and developing recovery plans. Some of these learning needs have and will be addressed through state-wide Care and Recovery Coordination workshops scheduled for May – July 2015 while the remainder will be incorporated into CoP meetings.

Finally we had some fun getting involved in some team building through an activity called ‘Houses of Cards.’ This demonstrated what we can achieve by working together.


Our second meeting included a presentation from Dr Shalini Arunogiri who presented to the Care and Recovery CoP around pharmacotherapy treatments with a focus on complex presentations. This meeting was held at Youth Projects in Hosier Lane and the community members enjoyed visiting this unique service (for many it was our first time) and learning about the range services that are provided at this site.

Click here to view the presentation slides.
Click here to view the meeting minutes.


This meeting was held on Friday 29th of May and the focus was on working with clients who have an ABI. At this session members were given a presentation by Dr Vanessa Smithies, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Turning Point State-wide Neuropsychology Service. Vanessa presented us with an informative overview of common co morbid issues in ABI, the effects of alcohol/specific drugs on thinking, how a neuropsychological assessment can help and what it involves. This presentation incorporated case studies that added to the relevance of the presentation. To find out more have a look at the presentation slides and the minutes of this meeting. Following on from Vanessa, we were given a highly interactive presentation by Mandy Ferres, Psychologist, Dual Diagnosis Senior Clinician and former ABI/AOD Clinician consultant. Mandy’s focus was on the practical strategies to help clients with ABI. This included what to be mindful of when working with clients suspected of an ABI but not confirmed. We discussed issues around guardianship and useful services to consider linking clients into and when to refer.

Click here to view the meeting minutes.
In amongst all this learning members have also been working on other important aspects of developing and maintaining their Community of Practice.


On Tuesday 11th August seventeen (17) Care and Recovery Coordination CoP members met in Fitzroy. The learning theme for this meeting was Brief Solution Focused Therapy. A very unwell trainer (Sharon Patterson) gave an overview of the theory and strategies for SFT. For many participants this was a refresher and all agreed that they would pick some of the strategies to incorporate into their work. The strengths based theoretical foundation of SFT makes it ideal fro CRC work. The Power Point Slides of the presentation are attached.

Other discussions took place at this meeting. The following are minutes that were taken.

  • At this stage we will continue to have meetings every two months. The meetings will be of three hours duration.
  • CRC workers to take greater ownership of the CoP by providing case presentations to enhance learning and discussion around issues commonly faced by CRC workers in their work.
  • Members identified that that they wanted to look at the following areas in meetings
    • Guardianship orders
    • Office of Public Advocate
    • Severe Substance Dependence Act
    • Trauma informed Care (Look for opportunity for CAN members to provide training or input into a meeting around this theme)
    • Becoming a Voice. Members discussed the opportunity to lobby and advocate on behalf of service users. Discussion took place around several areas identified where the system is not working and gaps exist.
      • Paucity of residential rehab beds,
      •  Confusion around funding for CRC treatment episodes; How to interpret DTEU
      • Challenges of working with older clients

Click here to view the presentation slides.





A number of meetings have already taken place for community members with the aim of creating an environment that supports the growth of the CoP identity, nurtures relationships between CoP members and supports individuals in their challenging role in Screening & Assessment. We are really pleased to have a committed and enthusiastic core group of members and it's great to see numbers growing. One of the highlights of this CoP community is the generous offer from members to bake and share cake at each meeting.

You can find further information about previous CoP meetings below.


Our inaugural Screening & Assessment CoP meeting occurred on Thursday 12 March. We had twenty-one registrations and fifteen participants arrived, both curious and enthusiastic to learn more about the role of CoP in Screening & Assessment. Many of the community were present today because they described themselves as highly interested in their work as screener and assessors or wanted to find out more about what the CoP could offer them.  The community came from a range of services including Intake, Screening and Assessment providers to AOD workers who work in other treatment settings but want to know more about Screening and Assessments. Some of the community came from outside the AOD sector e.g. MIND or Homeless services. The community stated they were looking forward the sharing of knowledge within the group.

Some of the key strategies identified by the CoP members and startegies as to how to respond can be found in the minutes. The contributions of those who attended were rich and although lengthy the minutes are well worth a read. Here is the link.


Our second meeting on 22 April included a presentation on Mental State Examination from Dr Kah-Seong Loke, Consultant Psychiatrist Eastern Dual Diagnosis Service.  The CoP members really appreciated the breadth of Dr Kah-Seong Loke’s experience and knowledge in relation to Mental State Examination and AOD assessment. If you would like to know more please click here to view the presentation. The minutes from the meeting can be accessed here.


This meeting was held on 21 May and we had two guest presenters. Our first guest speaker was Heather Carmichael, Manager, ACSO COATS. She provided information on forensic programs offered by COATS. Discussion around how COATS is currently building relationships with catchment based Intake and Assessment services and local courts so as individuals with substance related forensic issues end up in health care system rather than prison. Our second guest presenter was Gabby Cohen, South East Pharmacotherapy Network Coordinator. This was a 30 minute presentation: Information on the role of Pharmacotherapy networks and how to work with individuals who are identified as opioid dependent at Screening & Assessment. 

Gabby’s presentation can be accessed here.

Gabby has developed a script that could be used when for Intake and Assessment workers when opioid dependency has been identified. Please access here.

Over lunch and in the afternoon there was discussion around membership and value of being involved in CoP and the benefits. Members expressed their disappointment in the small group and lack of representation from all Intake & Assessment services from each catchment. The group suggested a letter be composed and written to mangers of all AOD Intake and Assessment services. This letter was sent out to all AOD consortium managers and you will be glad to hear our numbers increased significantly at the next meeting.

This meeting minutes can be accessed by clicking here.


This meeting was held on 16 June at ACSO Head Office in Abbotsford. Guest Presenters were: Bec Thatcher and Sally Finn from St Kilda Crisis Services. There was a 90 minute presentation: incorporating harm reduction strategies in screening and assessment. There was a very interesting and interactive discussion about Naloxone and the importance of availability, trends of use, appropriate use and information and training to clients/family friends. Suggested resources from Bec and Sally:

After lunch we had great discussions about how services are responding to the challenges of intake screening and assessment.
Click here to find out further about the meeting.


Minutes for Meeting 6 can be found here (PDF)


Meeting #8 was held on Tuesday 23 February.

This was our first meeting for 2016 and it was wonderful catching up with last year’s CoP members and welcoming new members to the group.
Guest Presenters were: Rick Loos, Telephone & Online Services, Turning Point and Chloe Bradford, Intake services, Bayside Health. There was a 60 minute presentation: incorporating

  • A Pilot Model of Care for telephone and online services
  • Essential Microskills for telephone and online counselling

This interesting and interactive presentation generated discussion about the importance of containment during screening and assessment and the importance of incorporating counselling techniques: reflection, paraphrasing and summarising when conducting assessment.

It was refreshing to receive feedback from our members about screening and assessment clinicians having increased confidence and value in their work since the introduction of funding for S & A workers to provide Brief Intervention, Bridging support and single session family interventions. 
As always we would like to thank the CoP members for their enthusiasm and commitment to the Screening And Assessment CoP.

Minutes for Meeting 8 can be found here (PDF)



Mental State Examination (PDF)
Dr Kah-Seong Loke, Consultant Psychiatrist, Eastern Dual Diagnosis Service

Role of Pharmacotherapy Networks in Victoria (PDF)
Gabby Cohen, South-East Pharmacotherapy Network Coordinator

How to work with individuals who are identified as opioid dependent at Screening & Assessment (PDF)
Gabby Cohen, South-East Pharmacotherapy Network Coordinator

How to identify and respond to problem gambling (PDF)
Dr Philip Townshend & Mick Field, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation


Bec Thatcher and Sally Finn from St Kilda Crisis Services suggested the following resource:
CRIS - Crisis Services