The Morrison and Perrottet Governments have provided $2.5 million to support construction of expanded facilities at Odyssey House drug and alcohol treatment service near Campbelltown in Sydney.
This capital works funding will assist with expansion of the Parents and Children’s Program at Eagle Vale, which enables people impacted by drug and alcohol misuse to obtain treatment without being separated from their families.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Government is committed to reducing the impact of drug and alcohol use on individuals, families and communities.
“Odyssey House is one of the few drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres in Australia that allows children up to 12 years old to stay with their parents while they undertake treatment,” Minister Hunt said.
“This new facility will allow Odyssey House to meet the ever-changing demand for drug and alcohol treatment from couples, single mothers and, increasingly, single fathers.”
The Odyssey House parents and children program aims to repair the bond between parents and children through physical and mental health and education services, interpersonal and social skills, and child development.
Once they have completed their treatment, parents are encouraged to move into community housing if they can demonstrate they are able to responsibly take care of their children.
NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the $2.5 million expansion of Odyssey House services would help keep families together when they were at risk of being torn apart by the damaging effects of drug and alcohol misuse.
“This will increase the support network at Odyssey House, bringing parents together with their children at the right stage of their treatment program to give families the best chance for a fresh start,” Minister Hazzard said.
Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, said the expanded faculties would enhance Odyssey House’s important work.
“This significant investment will help ensure that families in Western Sydney have access to essential health programs when they need it most,” Senator Payne said.
Alcohol as well as illicit drugs can cause terrible damage not just to individuals, but to husbands and wives, parents and other family members, and friends.
Odyssey House CEO, Julie Babineau, and Chairman of the Board, Doug Snedden, thanked the Morrison and Perrottet Governments for their support of the program.
“The new Odyssey Family Recovery Centre, co-funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, is one of the only centres of its kind in Australia that keeps families together by allowing parents to undertake treatment whilst their children live with them in specialised accommodation,” they said.
“Our Parent's and Children's Residential Rehabilitation Program helps parents break the cycle of generational drug and alcohol use, while developing the skills to establish and manage a safe and healthy family home. Thanks to the Commonwealth and NSW Government's funding assistance of the new centre, twice as many families will be able to access treatment.”
“Odyssey House is very grateful for the financial support provided to this program.”
The capital funding is in addition to more than $3.8 million in operating funding provided by the Government to Odyssey House in 2021-22, to deliver a range of drug and alcohol treatment services.
Odyssey House was founded in 1977 by Sydney businessman, Walter McGrath, after his son died from a heroin overdose, and has grown into one of Australia’s largest and most respected rehabilitation services.