The Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) provides alcohol and other drug services in Alice Springs – initially beginning with a Sobering Up Shelter and later expanded to provide a comprehensive range of services. In 2004 DASA introduced a ‘Community Based Outreach Program. The program aimed to provide follow-up and individualised support to repeat clients of the sobering up shelter and their extended families: to thus improve the quality of clients’ lives and to reduce the harm caused through alcohol to individuals, their families, and community. This research project aimed to evaluate the Outreach Program.
NDRI staff were contracted as independent evaluators of the Program, and, as such, were involved from the initial planning stages. The evaluation plan included external oversight of data collection and the Outreach Program staff’s collection of the evaluation data. The evaluation focused on process and outcome measures that were designed to meet the four planned outcomes of the outreach program.
• Reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse to Indigenous people in Central Australia.
• Life circumstances improved for individuals in Community-Based Outreach Program.
• Short-term objectives of the Community-Based Outreach Program progressively achieved.
• Program satisfactorily implemented/adopted.
The evaluation was completed in June 2007, and found that the Outreach Program had achieved or made progress towards all of its planned outcomes and objectives. The Program subsequently received ongoing funding from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.