About Us Home

Making Your Service Complex Needs Capable

This section discusses working with clients with complex needs from an organisational perspective. The main points are that:

  • A whole-of-organisation approach to change will ensure consistent practices across your service and improve outcomes for clients with complex needs.
  • Small changes in organisational practice will go a long way to improving outcomes for clients with complex needs.
  • Elements of organisational change to support complex needs clients can be achieved at minimal or no cost.
  • Areas of organisational change to provide holistic support to clients with complex needs include adapting policies and procedures, having training and workplace support, and establishing and extending service partnerships.
Making your service complex needs capable

Training and professional development

Ongoing training and education are a key component of any service's professional development and continuing quality improvement. It is particularly important in regard to clients with complex needs. This section covers workforce development and managing organisational change.

Read more

Communicating within your service

There is overwhelming evidence to support the implementation of universal communication practices in drug and alcohol services to support people with complex needs. For implementation to be consistent and the impact of changes measurable for clients and staff, there needs to be an organisation-wide approach with the support of management.

Read more


Eligibility, intake and assessment

A review of your service's eligibility, intake, and assessment policy and practice will identify if people with complex needs are inadvertently screened out at any of these stages when trying to access drug and alcohol treatment at your service.

Read more

Formal and informal supports

When working with clients with complex needs, it's important to make use of supports beyond your service including families, carers, other services and referrals.

Read more


Systems of support and worker wellbeing

Stress, burnout and staff retention are all challenges for the drug and alcohol workforce, so having practices and actions in place to support a worker's effectiveness and wellbeing is essential.

Read more

Quality improvement

Quality improvement is the ongoing process of a service self-reflecting and developing systems and service delivery. With a focus on outcomes, processes and people-based improvement, the objective is to improve the quality of care for clients.

Read more


Case studies

Case studies from The Lyndon Community, We Help Ourselves and Karralika Programs Inc. describe how these three drug and alcohol services have managed change within their organisations to become complex needs capable.

Read more