Objective: It is well established that people who work with clients who are dependent on substances need to be well equipped to deal with challenging and complex situations. Our research explores the experience of alcohol and other drug workers (AODW) in order to identify how successful Australia's teaching institutions are at preparing AODWs to meet this challenge. Design: Interviews were conducted to ascertain the perceived gaps in existing training programs and the perceived training needs of AODW. Using a qualitative research approach in-depth interviews were conducted with more than 20 counsellors working in six AODW rehabilitation centres in regional New South Wales. Results: There was a perception among all workers that their training had been inadequate and that the preparation for employment in AODW settings had not meet the felt needs of grass-roots workers leaving them to learn through experience. Conclusion: Considering the recommendations of both national and state policies on AODWs in Australia there is an urgent need to develop courses relevant to the needs of workers as suggested by respondents to this research.
- Alcohol and other drug workers
- Educational needs