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Youth Day Programme
The Youth Day Programme is a non-residential integrated treatment programme for young people aged 12-19 years who are experiencing serious difficulties with substance misuse and other associated problems

What we do

Welcome to Odyssey Youth Service. The Day Programme is a non-residential integrated treatment programme for young people aged 12-19 years who are experiencing serious difficulties with substance misuse and other associated problems.


Odyssey Youth Day Programme

Ph. 03 357 1881

The Philosophy


From its beginning Odyssey House Christchurch has developed psychiatrically orientated drug-free residential and day programmes from the therapeutic community concept of self-help.

The community consists of programme participants and staff, this community works together to encourage and promote positive development in the individual.


The programme includes:


Individual & Group Work
Family/Whanau Group
Educational/ Vocational Assessment
Recreational Activities
Life Skills Development
Medical and Psychiatric Assessment
Legal Assistance

The young people learn how to use the community to assist and promote personal growth, with the primary 'therapist' and 'teacher' in the Therapeutic Model being the community itself.


It also provides a predictable environment with well-defined boundaries, as well as encouraging the young person to learn not only consistency but also reliability, responsibility, and accountability. The community as a whole provides a crucial context for change.

Services Provided


The day programme runs in fifteen-week cycles, the young person can begin and end the programme at any time. The services provided are dependent on the specific treatment needs of each young person.


  • Individualized treatment plan

  • Education-individualised educational plan

  • Individual, group and family work

  • Life skills development

  • Focus groups

  • Recreational activities

  • Medical Services

  • Liaison with mainstream educational and vocational options

  • Regular review meetings and progress reports with your family and referrer.

  • Legal assistance



New programme participants need to bring:

Current Medication
Extra clothing/ warm jackets/ raincoats for recreation time.
Runners for Craft ( safety)

Do not bring the following items:

No drugs, alcohol or associated equipment.
No Cell Phones.
No Bandannas of any kind.
No clothing or items that have gang affiliations.

We will provide:


Programme Rules


Therapeutic communities maintain an explicit code of rules and regulations that define and maintain a safe environment and an acceptable standard of behaviour.


The Cardinal Rules

These rules address those behaviours for which there is zero tolerance in the community.


  • No alcohol or other drugs.

  • No violence or threats of violence

  • No sex or sexually acting out

  • No stealing

  • No gambling


If any of these rules are breached a group is held with those involved to explore the circumstances that have led to the situation where it appears a rule has been breached. This involves discussion about what was intended by their behaviour.


If it is confirmed that a rule has been breached there are a number of possible outcomes.


  • Discharge from the community

  • Or a young person may remain in the community on a status review plan


Smoke-Free Environment


Smoking is only permitted at lunch time in a set area. We offer assistance to quit smoking.

Your Rights


You should always be treated with respect. this includes respect for your cultural values beliefs as well as your right to personal privacy.

Fair Treatment
No-one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want or take advantage of you in any way.

Dignity and Independence
Services should support you to live an independent life.

Proper Standards
You have the right to be treated with care and skill and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together.

You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable an interpreter should be available.

You have the right to have your Alcohol & Drug problem explained. You may be asked questions to help you be fully informed.

It is your Decision
It's up to you to decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time.

You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances.

Teaching and Research
All these rights also apply when taking part in teaching and research.

It is okay to complain - your complaint helps improve services. It must be easy for you to make a complaint and it should not have an adverse effect on the way you are treated.

If you need help ask the person providing the service. You may also contact Addiction Advocacy Services (03) 943-5584 or the Health and Disability Commissioner can be reached on 0800112233

Aims & Objectives 


Odyssey House is committed to providing quality service to meet the needs of young people with different levels of substance misuse.


  • To provide a comprehensive treatment approach to young people and their families at risk of substance misuse and associated problems.

  • To provide a friendly environment for young people who are alienated in mainstream society.

  • To expose young people to adults whom role model respectful relationships with each other and with young people.

  • To develop in young people a positive attitude towards health and social services.

  • To provide challenge, enjoyment, and excitement through recreational experiences which are an alternative to substance use.

  • To provide a case management approach which involves, when possible, liaison with families/whanau and allied professionals.

  • To create opportunities for young people to try new things and develop strengths

  • To improve young people's physical and mental health.

  • To develop educational opportunities that the young person can experience success and return to educational and vocational training in mainstream communities.

  • To provide access to appropriate information that will enable young people to make informed decisions regarding alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other harmful substances.

  • To encourage family/ whanau involvement

  • To reduce criminal offending

  • To provide an integrated approach to agencies and services involved in the treatment of the young person to maximise the resources available while in treatment.

Referral Process


A referral can be made in person or by phone and are welcome from anywhere within the South Island. Referrals can be taken from mental health services, parents/caregivers, child youth and family agencies, alcohol and drug agencies. The clinical team meets weekly where a decision is made around the young person's suitability for the programme. The team leader will contact the young person, their family/whanau and the referrer to advise them of the outcome.

Arriving At the Day Programme


Upon arrival, a staff member will meet you and you will be assigned a buddy. A buddy maybe a staff member or another programme participant who is assigned to the young person for the first few days.


Their role is to ensure that the young person:


  • Is introduced to all staff and other programme participants

  • Is given a tour of the facility

  • Is given an explanation about the programme rules.

  • Is given an explanation about the programme schedule.


All young people enter the 4-6 week assessment phase of the programme. During this phase the following occurs:


  • Key Worker Appointed

  • Individualised Education Plan

  • Individualised Treatment Plan

  • Family Involvement


While in the assessment phase the young person is learning to co-operate with the requirement's of the therapeutic community and the programme.

The Programme Levels

Assessment for programme suitability

Orientation/ Assessment Phase
(4-6 week)

Level 1
(Set some goals for attending the programme)

Level 2
(Reviewed my goals)

Level 3
(Been actively involved in all aspects of the programme)

(Made agreed progress towards personal goals)

Target Group


  • Young People aged 13-19 years who have met criteria for substance dependence

  • In a living situation that encourages and supports their attendance.

  • Have been temporarily or permanently excluded from an educational placement or no vocational placement due to their substance misuse.

  • Agrees to voluntarily comply with the rules and regulations of the Odyssey House Trust.

  • Is medically suited for the programme.


Odyssey Youth service provides access to treatment irrespective of young persons:

  • Gender

  • Ethnic Group

  • Previous criminal record

  • Sexual preference



9:00 am       Morning meeting
9:30 am       School
12:00 pm     Lunch
12:30 pm     Groups 
3:00 pm       Finish

On Wednesday instead of school there is an Adventure activity (at times this is an all day activity). During Holidays school is replaced by activities.

The Admission Process


When a young person has been found suitable for the programme, the team leader of the programme will make contact with the parent/caregiver or referrer to arrange an admission date and time.

The admission process usually takes about one hour, this allows time to complete all admission forms, and an initial explanation of the rules and regulations of the programme.

Please feel free to ask any questions or seek clarification about any concerns you may have.

Family & Whanau Involvement


Odyssey Youth Service encourages partners, family/whanau & extended family/whanau to participate and supports the young person during treatment.


How does this happen?


  • We have a weekly family support group run on Fridays at 10.30am

  • Individual family work as agreed.


This support may include:


  • Information about alcohol and other drug issues

  • Information about Odyssey Youth Service & the therapeutic community.

  • Information and referral to family- specific services.

About The School


The Odyssey Youth Service provides an educational programme. The educational programme aims to provide a quality needs a fulfilling environment for young people that develops positive attitudes to learning and the social learning skills necessary to enhance their life opportunities, health, and well-being. The primary aim in the planning and the provision of an educational programme will be that young people are enabled to generalise these skills to the community and other education or work settings. The education is provided by the Southern Regional Health School and follows the National Curriculum Guidelines as provided by the Ministry of Education. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is formulated in association with Odyssey Youth Service, parents and other professionals involved with the young person, identifying specific areas the young person identifies.

Complaints Procedure


Procedure for grievance's, conflict resolution and complaints.

A written summary of the unresolved problem or complaint (encounter) is given to Odyssey Youth Service staff and discussed with them.

A structured meeting is then facilitated with staff members /residents involved, having support with them during the meeting. The meeting works towards a resolution of the conflict/complaint and can make recommendations that help prevent re-occurrences of the problems.

If the above steps do not resolve the conflict the young person may then put it in writing and forward to the Director of Odyssey House. All complaints will be investigated within 15 days. If this process fails to resolve the conflict/complaint then the young person can contact the Addiction Advocacy Services (03) 943-5584 or contact the Health & Disability Commissioner 0800112233.

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