“A gentle landing”: Findings of the evaluation of Windana Maryknoll AOD Therapeutic Community Welcome House program

Windana Maryknoll Therapeutic Community is a residential AOD rehabilitation facility in Victoria. A purpose built “Welcome House” program was introduced in 2020, to provide a ‘softer landing’ for new residents and increase program retention. We conducted an evaluation of Welcome House to examine the impact on client/staff experiences and outcomes. Data collection before/after program implementation – involving in-depth interviews with 70 Windana residents and 25 staff, and the analysis of service data to measure client retention since program implementation – revealed several positive outcomes. Residents feel more supported on program entry and are staying longer in the program through opportunities to deal with un-addressed pressing social, mental health and drug dependency issues (e.g., lingering withdrawal symptoms) on arrival, and being given more time to ‘gently’ adjust to program routines before entering the longer-term program.


Shelley Walker, Research Fellow, Burnet Institute

Dr Shelley Walker is a Research Fellow and qualitative researcher at the Burnet Institute. She conducts research in the areas of alcohol and other drugs and justice health.

Jen Rollings, Senior Therapist, Windana Drug & Alcohol Recovery

Jen Rollings is a Senior Therapist at Windana. She currently works at the residential Therapeutic Community in Maryknoll.

Credited Authors

Matt Taylor Manager Rehabilitation Services Windana Drug & Alcohol Recovery

Mark O’Brien General Manager Rehabilitation Services Windana Drug & Alcohol Recovery