Services for Family

Substance use doesn’t just affect an individual, it affects the whole family.

As a family inclusive service, sdecc offers support for parents affected by their young person’s alcohol and/or drug use.

Our services are free and confidential. A Medicare card is not required.

What you can do now

SDECC is a self-referral service; if you are a parent needing support please give us a call on 9977 0711. All services are free and confidential. No Medicare card is needed. However, donations are welcome.

SDECC offers a therapeutic group for parents called Paving Ways.

Group Sessions

Paving Ways is a therapeutic group for parents/carers who are experiencing the effects of their child’s/dependant’s problematic alcohol and/or drug use.

Paving Ways is a six week program facilitated by qualified clinicians who understand the complexities of problematic alcohol and/or drug use and any associated mental health issues. It is a safe and supportive environment for parents/carers to explore strategies and skills to manage their own stress and the behaviour of their child/dependant.

We also can offer some additional groups for parents experiencing violence or aggression at home, as we know that this is a common occurrence.

Please talk to an SDECC counsellor about this in your assessment.


We can offer follow up counselling sessions for one or both parents or carers to assist you with implementing the content you have learned in Paving Ways into your home and life. We’ve found that parents and carers benefit from some additional support with trying out strategies and making changes, so you’re welcome to stay with us for a bit longer if you need to. 

What parents say about SDECC


It can be really stressful and distressing when you know or think that your young person might be using substances. There is often a desire to confront them, or to try and help them. We’ve found that young people respond best when their parents are calm and open to listen to what they have to say. We suggest that you watch the videos available on the website, and ring to speak to us about attending our Paving Ways group, which will help you to develop effective strategies for supporting the whole family. 

When parents and carers see that their young person is struggling, they often want to fix it or make it better, but it’s important that young people make their own decision to come into SDECC. We’ve seen that young people do best when their parents engage with SDECC, so we’d suggest that you come to SDECC yourself and attend our 6 week group program. Paving Ways is designed to support you to cope with these challenges. 

Adolesence can be a really tricky time for everyone. Young people are more likely to take risks during this time, including using alcohol and drugs. We’ve found that its most helpful for parents to prepare themselves for how to effectively handle these conversations. SDECC can assist you with navigating these issues within your family in a way that will have the most positive outcomes.

SDECC’s services are evidence based, and we know that young people who use substances do much better when their parents and carers are equipped to cope with the issues and support them and themselves effectively. 

Information & Resources

It’s helpful to be able to access independent, accurate and current information about substances, their effects and how to reduce the harms associated with it.

SDECC Information and Resoruces

Need help right now?

SDECC operates during business hours, and we may not always be able to respond immediately.

If you’re in distress right now, for 24/7 crisis support please contact:

Emergency Services000

Lifeline13 11 14

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