Published May 11, 2024
Last Modified May 16, 2024
First Step
42 Carlisle Street St Kilda, Australia
Job Type
Contact Phone Number
Closing Date
May 30, 2024

Job Description

The Opportunity
The Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Family Therapist will be a key member of a multi-disciplinary team in delivering an Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to individuals experiencing complex and problematic alcohol and other drugs use. The AOD Family Therapist’s role will be facilitate education groups and assist with ongoing client engagement.

The Setting
First Step is a not-for-profit addiction, mental health, and legal services hub in the heart of St Kilda supporting over 1,600 people each year. We have a team of General Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Lawyers and Allied Health workers, all working together to create a community where people who use drugs and alcohol and people living with mental distress can live well, be safe and be supported.

Our model of care is designed to address the systemic barriers faced by people with co-occurring illnesses and prioritises welcome, empathy and hope. Through the compassionate application of multiple disciplines in a team environment we focus on incremental, whole-of-life improvements that build towards physical and mental health and wellbeing. We work to help people be connected to their families, participating in society, and taking control of their own lives. At First Step we believe that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around.

Family Therapist
The Family Therapist will utilise a range of treatment interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and psychoeducation in the delivery of this integrated Adult Intensive Outpatient Program. These interventions will be used in both individual and group treatment sessions.

Adherence to the structural and clinical fidelity has been shown to be an important determinant of success for this program. Actively adhering to the manualised treatment materials; consistent scheduling and facilitation of occasional individual and regular group sessions; collection of weekly random drug/alcohol screens (note this is to inform treatment and is NOT a punitive measure); monitoring of group size; involvement of peers as co-leaders (when appropriate); and actively engaging participants throughout the process are all important elements of the Family Therapist role.

Key Responsibilities
The Family Therapist works as a member of Intensive Outpatient multidisciplinary treatment team and will be assigned a small caseload of clients. The focus of this role will include:

• Facilitation of family education groups
• Make outgoing referrals for clients in consultation with the primary therapists
• Active engagement with clients and family members to build cohesive relationships and ensure family participation
• Facilitation of social support groups during intensive treatment and supervision of social support groups during continuing care
• Actively follow-up with clients who do not attend treatment to ensure ongoing program engagement
• Manage risk and crises such as relapse/lapse(s), suicidal ideation or family conflicts during treatment
• Actively participate in outcome evaluations. This could include tracking client progress, conducting assessments, or participating in research initiatives aimed at improving program outcomes
• Provide treatment that is welcoming, empathic and optimistic and ensure, where possible, the reduction of stigma and shame for people and their families experiencing complex alcohol and other drug use
• The family therapist will act as a mentor for the development of the Peer Support Coordinators and Primary Therapists (if required)
• Participate in regular clinical supervision with the key supervisor
• Works collaboratively with the broader multidisciplinary team to ensure the efficient, effective and responsive operation of the IOP service to ensure program fidelity
• Identify and up-skill peer volunteers completing the Adult IOP program (if required)

• Relevant health and/or welfare tertiary qualification such as Social Work, Psychology, Nursing or Allied Health Sciences and, ideally with a minimum of 3 years’ experience in this field, and
• Certificate IV in AOD or have completed the required competencies.

Applications should provide a cover letter that addresses the following Key Selection Criteria, a recent (up to date) resume and 2 professional references. Applications that do not address the Key Selection Criteria will not be considered.

Key Selection Criteria

Key Selection Criteria
1. Outline your qualifications and experience in Drug and Alcohol treatment
2. Outline your qualifications and experience of psychological therapies
3. Demonstrate expertise in family systems
4. Demonstrate your experience in group facilitation
5. What does emotional intelligence mean to you and how do you use your emotional intelligence within the workplace
6. Describe your willingness and ability to adhere to a prescribed treatment program while treating all individuals with dignity and compassion
7. Outline your recent or ongoing professional development goals

Please note: The successful candidate must have or be willing to undertake a valid Working With Children Check and Police Check. Evidence of three doses of COVID vaccinations (or valid medical exemption) as per Department of Health Guidelines is also required. For more information please visit: