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Are you looking for a safe and supportive student placement where you can develop your abilities?

We provide challenging and rewarding learning opportunities for students, allowing you to gain valuable, real world skills and experience in directly assisting people and families to achieve positive transformations.

Drug ARM has long been regarded as a leader in early career development for students from a range of disciplines including psychology, counselling and social work.

In any one year, we can support up to 50 students through placement with our Community and Family Support Service (CAFSS) based at Annerley and Ipswich. We also offer placements through our Street Outreach Services.

We accept students for this service from various tertiary institutions including the Australian College of Applied Professionals, Griffith University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and many others.

Students are also welcome to assist our Intake and Information Service, our fundraising team and our Street Outreach Service.

To enquire about a placement as a student call Drug ARM on 1300 656 800.

Kelsey's Story

My time volunteering in CAFSS is invaluable to me. As a caseworker, I got to build on theoretical knowledge acquired in my psychology degree and hone my skills as a counsellor. Volunteering in CAFSS has given me invaluable professional skills, which I now bring to my research as a PhD candidate and research assistant.

Why Drug ARM?

Be Inspired and Supported

At Drug ARM you will continue to be challenged in your academic program, and provided with support and development to help you build your clinical abilities, find your personal clinical style and make yourself more employable.

Be inspired as you work alongside qualified social workers, psychologists, counsellors and fellow students as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Developing Clinical Ability

Over the course of six months, you will build skills and gain real world experience through an immersive, hands on program. Prior to commencing the program, you will undertake practical training including scenarios, role plays and other activities which will prepare you for your first day of placement where you will begin to observe counselling through a co-counselling model. This is a collaborative, student led program where students are given the tools, knowledge and skills to take the lead in a safe and supported environment.

Mentoring and Supervision

Each student is supported by a supervisor who will act as a mentor to guide them through their placement. You will also have the opportunity to meet with a range of industry professionals from the broader community sector who regularly visit daily supervision sessions to discuss related issues such as domestic violence, sexual health, homelessness and more.

Pathways to Employment

By the time you complete the placement program, you will have the skills and knowledge to immediately apply for Case Worker, Counsellor and other roles in the community sector. A wide range of professions come in to contact with individuals with alcohol and other drug issues as part of their work and this program will train you with a specialist skill set that is attractive to future employers. Drug ARM also hires regularly and view the student placement program as a pipeline to potential future employment within our team.

Choose the Right Path for You

If you are wanting to develop your skills but aren’t ready to take the step in to face to face counselling, consider starting your development journey by volunteering in our Central Intake and Information Line or Street Outreach Services.

About the Program

Drug ARM’s Student Placement program is embedded in the Community and Family Support Services (CAFSS) offered in Ipswich and Brisbane. CAFSS is a structured, brief intervention package for individuals and their significant others aged 16+ in addressing substance use and related issues.

The program is delivered in a co-counselling model by students and volunteers and coordinated by a Drug ARM supervisor. CAFSS workers deliver assessment, case management, case formulation, counselling, psychoeducation, social skills training, relapse prevention and referral strategies to presenting clients with low to medium complexity needs as well as support for significant others.

These are delivered in accordance with the biopsychosocial model and recovery orientation. CAFSS workers utilise approved, evidence-informed intervention tools as advised by the CAFSS supervisor.

The program is delivered over 12 sessions (treatment episode) through weekly 1-hour sessions. It can be delivered face to face in the office or community or via telehealth.

Individual Support

Sessions focus on assessment, case management, case formulation, counselling, psychoeducation, social skills training, relapse prevention and referral strategies to address substance use, mental health and related issues

Significant Other Support

Sessions focus on psychoeducation, case management and strategy development, alcohol and other drug awareness, tools and options to develop effective coping strategies and pro-social choices.

Your Learning Journey

Applying for the Program

This program allows students to begin observing client sessions immediately, and co-counselling after 5 hours of experience. As such the utmost care is given to assessing whether students are ready for this program as well as regular reviews throughout the program.

The process for acceptance in to the Placement Program includes a written application, a group interview and pre-placement training. To apply for the Placement Program, you will need to submit an application form and response to selection criteria. After the close date, an internal team will review your application and assess if you are ready for the program.

If your written application is successful, you will be invited to attend a group interview where you will be asked to share your experience working with clients, your approach to practice, your experience working in a team environment and why you want to volunteer. You will also be asked to work through some case studies and scenarios and discuss how you would handle those situations.

If your interview is successful, you will be invited to participate in an initial training and induction program consisting of 1 day of online content (6 short modules) and 3 days of face to face training in Brisbane.

Following the training, the supervisor for your location will advise if you have been accepted in to the program. At this stage, your supervisor will organise time commitments and craft a plan to achieve your placement requirements if needed.

This process takes approximately 3 weeks from the application close date.

Development Worker

The Developmental stage is all about familiarising yourself with the role, the team and the organisation. You will begin observing low intensity client sessions by partnering up with another student or volunteer who have already moved on to Support Worker stages.

At this stage you may also begin some project work that contributes to the broader organisation to assist with work readiness or improving your volunteering skills. After you have completed all the required training modules and a minimum of 5 hours observing as a secondary worker during client sessions, your supervisor will assess if you are ready to become a Clinical Level 1 Support Worker.

Clinical Level 1 Support Worker

Clinical Level 1 Support Workers begin to develop their clinical ability in a supported environment by working with low-intensity clients through a co-counselling model.

At this level, you will be supported to use quality assured assessments and tools to support clients during sessions throughout their treatment episode. This includes assisting them with concerns related to alcohol and other drug use, mental health, anger management, coping strategies, family and relationships, domestic and family violence, assertiveness and communication and other concerns.

You will be taught to write effective case notes and enter data into the client database, as well as how to navigate different program models and mandatory requirements which you may encounter throughout your professional career.

As you build your skillset you will also assist with mediumintensity clients by observing client sessions led by a Clinical Level 2 Support Worker. During this time, you will also continue to complete project work and other professional development. After you have completed a minimum of 10 hours observing as a secondary worker during client sessions, your supervisor will assess if you are ready to become a Clinical Level 2 Support Worker.

Clinical Level 2 Support Worker

Clinical Level 2 Support Workers continue to develop and hone their clinical ability in a team environment by supporting medium intensity clients as well as building leadership skills.

At this level, you are able to work with all clients entering the program. You will also be trained in how to take on a mentorship role to support Developmental Workers and Clinical Level 1 Support Workers. In this stage, your supervisor will work with you to prepare you for job readiness. They may also support you to begin apply for paid, casual work in Drug ARM in other programs to further your development.

By the end of the Placement Program, you will have a skill set that enables you to begin working in graduate roles such as Case Worker, Family Support Worker and Counsellor.

Elizabeth's Story

“A huge percentage of people that come here have trauma stories and childhood abuse…and that’s no fault of their own.  The people that come to Drug ARM are in dire straits…some of them are scared and lonely but the fact that they are here and they are able to express how they feel just softens that struggle”

Watch the video

We currently have two CAFSS programs in South East Queensland. You may be accepted in to the Brisbane South or Ipswich programs to complete your placement

The Community and Family Support Service is an active community program and operates Monday to Friday within standard business hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday with later nights on Tuesday and Thursday to support clients who cannot access the program during business hours.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am to 5pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 11am to 7pm
The program has a three week break over the Christmas and New Year period.

We ask that students on placement in the CAFSS program commit to one day a week over six months. This is to ensure continuity of care for our clients. From experience we have found student on placement will often require two or more days a week to complete their required placement hours.

Please consider how many days you may require when providing your availability.

Students wanting to apply for Street Outreach Services, Intake and Telehealth Services or other student placements are welcome to apply at any time.

Students wanting to apply for the Drug ARM clinical placement can apply four times a year.

January Clinical Placement Intake

  • 22 January – Application cut-off
  • 29-30 January – Interviews
  • 14-16 February – Training
  • 19 February – Intake commencement

April Clinical Placement Intake

  • 15 April – Application cut-off
  • 22-23 April – Interviews
  • 8-10 May – Training
  • 13 May – Intake commencement

June Clinical Placement Intake

  • 17 June – Application cut-off
  • 24-25 June – Interviews
  • 10-12 July – Training
  • 15 July – Intake commencement

October Clinical Placement Intake

  • 8 October – Application cut-off
  • 14-15 October – Interviews
  • 30 October – 1 November – Training
  • 4 November – Intake commencement

To apply for the program, call us on 1300 656 800 or contact us through our website. The process for acceptance in to the Placement Program includes a written application, a group interview and pre-placement training.

Each day at the Drug ARM Placement Program holds a new opportunity to push your thinking and improve your practice. A sample day of placement could be:

9am Arrive at Drug ARM and attend daily morning meeting to discuss sessions scheduled for the day

9.15am Read over previous case notes from past sessions with first client of the day. Make note to check in on the homework set last appointment.

9.30am First client of the day. Work together on strategies to manage anxiety and triggering situations.

10.30am Debrief with co-counsellor and write up case notes.

10.45am Search the Drug ARM professional development library for a resource to take to the next client. Chat to fellow students to learn if they have any good suggestions.

11.30am Second client of the day. A significant other this time who is seeking help with communication skills to support their loved one.

12.30pm Daily supervision with the team discussing approaches. A good chance to ask the supervisor any questions and engage with peers.

1.30pm Walk to the local café to grab some lunch and clear head before final session of the day.

2.30pm Final session of the day. Spend time reviewing treatment goals and preparing client for exiting the program.

3.30pm Finalise case notes from second and third session of the day. Then, spend some time working on a student project such as reviewing clinical practice guidelines.

4.30pm Finish up for the day with a quick debrief. Then on to home to have dinner, catch up on uni work and wind down for the night.

We value work-life balance and will do our best to fit in with your existing commitments. When you begin your placement, we will ask you what day/s you are available and try to accommodate your needs. The days agreed upon will be set for the six-month commitment with Drug ARM.

All placement activities are conducted within your agreed upon days – there is no out of hours component to this program.

All students on placement within the last eight years have been able to complete their required client contact and placement hours with us.

To apply you will require relevant tertiary or industry experience. Our students come from varied disciplines including social work, psychological science and counselling.

If you do not already have a Blue Card, Drug ARM can help you to obtain one at no cost. When you enquire about student placement, our team will attach a blank form for you to fill out and submit with the rest of your application. If you are successful in your interview, we will process the application with Blue Card Services.

There is no cost associated with the placement program. Travel to and from the placement location is not covered by Drug ARM.

Drug ARM placement supervisors will work closely with you and supervise you on a daily basis. Our placement supervisors are Case Workers who are practicing counsellors, social workers and psychologists with relevant degrees and qualifications and act in a supervisory role in the organisation.

No. Drug ARM has public liability insurance for all their employees, volunteers and students.

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1300 656 800

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(07) 3620 8880