Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and/or other drugs issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: HWSS5443C

Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and/or other drugs issues

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4264 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work

Course Contact : Xenia Girdler

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4660

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 125

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to assess client needs in the context of identifying options for delivery of community services to support their needs
This unit includes applying standard processes and procedures to providing a comprehensive assessment of clients’ alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and other needs, developing case plans based on the assessment, and referring clients to other services as required

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCAOD408A Assess needs of clients with alcohol and/or other drugs issues


1. prepare for assessment
2. Conduct assessment
3. Identify and respond to need for referral
4. Interpret and report on assessment results
5. Provide assessment feedback and information

Performance Criteria:

1.1Conduct discussions with the client to identify reasons for seeking help and other relevant information that may assist in establishing a basis for further work
1.2Explain to client organisation parameters of confidentiality and policy/procedures
1.3Inform the client of the purpose and process of the assessment
1.4Confirm the client’s understanding of the purpose and process of assessment

2.1Take client’s drug use history in accordance with organisation policies and procedures
2.2Identify and clarify any previously identified co-morbidity / dual diagnosis in consultation with relevant health or community services professionals
2.3Assess the current status of the client using standardised alcohol and other drugs screens and from discussion with client
2.4Use established assessment procedures and protocols to identify issues related to client health in collaboration with relevant health professional as required
2.5Assess patterns of use with established assessment procedures and protocols
2.6Assess level of dependence with established assessment procedures and protocols
2.7Identify indicators of other issues that may affect work with the client through observation and questioning
2.8Provide a suitable and comfortable environment for the assessment
2.9Comply with the guidelines when conducting the assessment
2.10Conduct assessment in a fair manner

3.1Identify client issues that are outside the scope of the service and/or the scope of the worker
3.2Identify appropriate service and other support options
3.3Inform the client of possible options
3.4Inform he client of the reasons for seeking other service and support options
3.5Confirm the client's understanding of options
3.6Work with the client to determine referral options and responsibilities
3.7Where appropriate, make referral with client consent and within organisation policy and procedures

4.1Record assessment results according to defined guidelines
4.2Interpret assessment results according to defined guidelines
4.3Apply organisation criteria to determine entry or exclusion to services
4.4Prepare assessment report based on guidelines and organisation policy and procedures

5.1Provide feedback to the person according to organisation policy and procedure
5.2Provide assessment information to others, including relevant health and/or community services professionals according to consent requirements and organisation policy and procedure

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

In this course you will be provided with a range of opportunities to enhance and extend your skills, knowledge and attitude in the field of AOD work. Classes are run three days per week. A detailed timetable is also available on the RMIT website. Most classes run for three hours and are facilitated by recognised professionals in the community services sector and RMIT staff. A variety of learning styles are catered for and learning will take place via interactive experiential tasks combined with more didactic theory based exercises. All in-class learning will compliment the practical placement competent of this course where you are required to complete a total of two hundred (200) hours over the course of the year. There will also be two course-related field trips - Arradale psychiatric institution and Dax Collection gallery - scheduled in March. These trips are intended to provide you with important insight into the socio-political and historical context of the community services sector in Victoria.

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complimented by RMIT’s e-learning tool "Blackboard".

Teaching Schedule

DayTime StartTime EndCourseDate
Monday1.30pm4.30pmProvide services to clients with complex needs19/3/2012, 26/3, 2/4, 16/4, 23/4, 30/4, 21/5
 Monday 6pm 9pm Work effectively in the AOD sector
 6/2/2012 - 5/3/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm Use targeted communication skills to build relationships
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 1.30pm 4.30pm work effectively in mental health settings
 13/3, 27/3,17/4,24/4, 1/5, 22/5 - 12/6
 Wednesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Wednesday 1.30pm
 4.30pm work within legal and ethical framework
 18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Thursday 9.30am 4.30pm Apply advanced first aid
 9/2, 16/2, 1/3, 8/3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

There are a variety of tools used to assess this course including two hundred (200) hours of practical placement providing you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate the skills knowledge and attitude required.
Other assessment tasks may involve:

  • Short essays where you will be expected to write an answer to a question in detail, and to draw conclusions about issues.
  • Class presentation where you will be expected to conduct a brief session in class, to lead discussion and to provide information for other students.
  • Participation in class discussions and activities.
  • Reflective Journals you will be expected to provide a written record of your experiences during the year - in class and in practical placement.
  • Blackboard/On-line assessment you will participate in regular on-line forums, blogging and small assessment tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task: Placement manual

Using one of your Practical Placements - what is the assessment process for clients with Alcohol and/or other drugs issues and how is it evaluated? Provide copies of any forms used, - for both the assessment and evaluation. Your answer must take into consideration the importance of working with clients:

•with a range of issues
•in a range of settings
•from different cultural backgrounds
•in a non-judgmental way
•in emergency situations

Length: 400 – 600 words
Due Date: Monday, 13 August 2012

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview