October 2022

Our Young People: Life-Changing Stories
All Stories

In early June 2021, PALM ACT received a call from Jared, a 15 year old. Jared was incarcerated in a youth detention centre due to significant criminal charges relating to illegal driving and car theft and believed that this was largely due to his problematic and escalating substance use. Jared reported that he had been in and out of detention a number of times. As a result of this cycle of incarceration Jared was significantly behind at school and had been isolated from his family and friends.

Jared completed his phone assessment with PALM and was brought into the program from custody where he settled into the community. Jared quickly developed strong leadership skills which was fostered by the therapeutic community. In addition, he worked closely with his counsellor and over time started to talk openly about the things he was struggling with which was something his family hoped he would do as he had previously been closed off to talking about his problems. He worked through his counselling action plan quickly and efficiently, focusing closely on crime and relapse prevention.
Jareds’ counsellor involved family as a key aspect of treatment, bringing them into counselling sessions and through guided support.
The Aftercare and Vocational Education team worked with Jared to rebuild his connection with his school and in the last couple of weeks of his time in the program, he returned to school part-time, returning to the program at the end of the school day.
Jared demonstrated that he could practice his crime and relapse prevention strategies while out in the community during days at school and on a weekend spent with his family.
Following residential treatment, Jared has returned to living with his father and siblings and is attending school full-time. Jared’s aim is to abstain from alcohol and drug and criminal activity. He receives ongoing support through the Aftercare team as well as the Street University.