FAQs

  Prevention Services

Services to Primary Schools
Q: Are these programmes offered to state schools only?
A: Services are available upon request, independent and church schools.

Q: Do independent and church schools have to pay for these programmes? 
A: Services are provided free of charge to all schools, including independent and church schools. However, in the case of parental skills programmes a nominal participation fee is applicable. 

Services to Secondary Schools
Q: Do schools have to pay for these programmes? 
A: As a general rule, all services are provided free of charge. However, there are programmes where a nominal fee is applicable, mainly when literature material is distributed. ​

Q: Are the Prevention Programes for Secondary Schools available only for students?
A: The core programmes are aimed at students however, we offer complementary services for educators and school staff such as Personal Development Session and ad hoc training sessions.

Parental Skills Courses
Q: What age group do parental skills programmes target?
A: Parental skills programme Inrabbu 'l Uliedna Aħjar can be adapted both for parents of children and for parents of adolescents and is delivered regularly within communities and schools. However there is a separate parental skills programme with topics specifically for parents of adolescents delivered at least once a year.  

S.A.F.E. - Substance Abuse-Free Employees
Q: Is S.A.F.E. delivered during the hours of work? How long does it take?
A: The time of delivery of the programme depends on the availability and arrangements made with each employer. The duration of the programme varies according to request and need of the particular workplace.
 
Q: What kind of help is available for employees/employers having a substance abuse problem?
A: Whenever an employee presents a substance misuse problem, a referral is made to the respective services offered within Aġenzija Sedqa. If the employee agrees, Aġenzija Sedqa's staff can liaise with the employers concerned, so that the service is delivered more effectively and with greater support.
 
Q: How is confidentiality secured if an employee has a substance abuse problem? 
A: Aġenzija Sedqa offers confidential on-going support to both the management and the employees. The Agency's confidentiality code procedure is thoroughly respected. 

Community Based Programmes
Q: As an NGO or local council initiative, how can Prevention Services assist an organisation?
A: The Community Executive can discuss initiatives planned by the NGO/local council and support mainly through provision of informative printed material and where necessary interventions from professional staff during the event. Prevention Services are focused mainly on substance abuse and promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

 
  Care Services - Community Services
 
 
Alcohol & Gambling Community Services
Q: How long does one have to wait before being given an appointment? 
A: Once a person contacts the service, a community worker will call him/her back within five working days. The appointment is offered within the next ten working days.
 
Q: Is the family involved in the work done by the community worker?
A: If the person who is referred for the service is over 18 years of age, s/he will have to give his/her consent first before any contact or involvement is made with family or any significant others. However, young people under the age of 18 will need their parents' consent before long-term interventions or any medical treatment can be offered. If recommended by Aġenzija Sedqa's worker following the respective person, the involvement of the family is highly advisable.
 
Q: If persons with alcohol-related problems do not want any help, what can their families do?
A: Partners and/or families of persons with alcohol-related problems can still be offered support and assistance even if the person with the alcohol problem refuses to receive any help.
 
Q: How confidential is the service? 
A: All Aġenzja Sedqa's services are confidential and no information is divulged to third parties. However, this does not apply when someone's life is at risk and when a minor is at risk of serious harm, or when workers are required by law to divulge certain information.
 
Q: How can this service help a person with a gambling problem? 
A: Primarily, this service can be of emotional support to the person with a gambling problem and his/her family. Through counselling, the service tries to assist the client move out of the vicious cycle of gambling. Furthermore, it can help individuals make concrete and practical plans that will help them sort out their life. For instance, the client can be assisted in learning how to manage his/her finances, how to look for secure employment, if needed, and how to have secure and adequate housing. The clients and their families may also be referred to the Psychological Family Therapy, Psychiatric Services or any other service for help.
 
Q: Can this service help in paying off creditors/loan sharks? 
A: Aġenzija Sedqa does not help clients financially. However, it will assist the individual in making an appointment with other entities who may in turn, assist the individual in his/her financial problems.
 
Q: Can this service assist the family of the person who has a gambling problem? 
A: Yes, the Alcohol and Gambling Service offers help to the next-of-kin as well. Meetings can be held either at the family's home or at the offices of the Agency, depending on the needs and wishes of the family concerned.
 
Drugs Community Services
Q: How long does one have to wait before being given an appointment?
A: Once a person contacts the service, a community worker will call him/her back within two working days to offer an appointment. An appointment is then offered depending on the urgency of the case. A short waiting list applies. 
 
Q: How confidential is the service?
A: All Aġenzija Sedqa's services are confidential and no information is divulged to third persons without the clients’ consent. However, this does not apply when someone's life is at risk and when a minor is at risk of serious harm. When a person is under the age of 18 years, the parents' consent is required before any medical treatment can be offered.
 
Q: If persons with drug-related problems do not want any help, what can their families do?
A: Partners and/or families of persons with drug-related problems can still be offered support and assistance even if the person with the drug problem refuses to receive any help.

Family Services
Q: How long does a family have to wait before being given an appointment? 
A: Sometimes, when all the family workers / therapists have a full caseload, the family is put on a waiting list. In this case of the latter, families will be informed that they are on a waiting list but will be given an appointment as soon as possible. Referrals for family therapy services are received from other services within the Foundation for Social Welfare Services and also directly from the general public.
 
Q: If one member of the family does not want to go for therapy, can the rest of the family attend?
A: Preferably all the members are to attend for family therapy. However, each case will be considered on its own merit.
 
Q: How often and for how long does family therapy take place?
A: The needs vary from one family to the other, therefore the duration and frequency of therapy sessions will be determined according to the needs of each family.
 
Psychological Services
Q: How long does one have to wait before being given an appointment? 
A: As a normal procedure, an appointment with the psychologist is set by the key worker assigned with the client. Sometimes, when all the psychologists have a full caseload, the client is put on a waiting list for a few weeks.
 
Q: What type of preparation is involved before accessing this service? 
A: The individual is informed and prepared for the sessions by the key worker during the regular meetings held at the community services.
 
Q: How long is the programme?
A: There is no set limit on the length of the service. The duration of the treatment depends on each case, since each service is tailor made for each client that the Psychology Services is treating. 
 
 
  Care Services - Detoxification Services
 
 
Dar l-Impenn -Substance Misuse Inpatient Unit
Q: What type of preparation is involved before entering the programme? 
A: The individual is encouraged and expected to meet his/her community worker and medical officer on a regular basis at the community services in order to settle any urgent issues that require attention before starting receiving this service.
 
Q: What does the service consist of?
A: This service consists of 24-hour, specialised care with the constant presence of a nurse and a care worker. Patients undergoing a detoxification programme benefit from a highly individualised treatment plan, which is devised on the basis of the patient's addiction, physical and psychological status, and the extent of the support believed to be available from significant others following detoxification.
 
Q: How long is the stay at this unit?
A: It varies according to the reason why a person has been admitted. If a person is admitted to undergo a detoxification process, the average stay is approximately 7 days. 
 
 
  Care Services - Residential Services
 
Assessment and Stabilisation Unit (ASU)
Q: What does the service consist of? 
A: This residential service is meant to help persons who have either need for medical stabilisation following an acute medical intervention, such as detoxification, or who need to be assessed further in order to have a clearer picture of what are the next steps in their journey away from their addiction.  These might be either going back to their home and followed up regularly by our community teams or else be admitted into one of our residential rehabilitation programmes.

Q: How long is the stay at this unit?
A: Service users may stay in this unit up to eight weeks.  Since this is not a rehabilitation programme, service users could be discharged before this maximum period if the objectives why they were admitted to ASU are reached.

Dar Żerniq - Alcohol Rehabilitation Programme
Q: How long does one have to wait before being given an appointment and before being admitted to the programme? 
A:  An appointment with an Aġenzija Sedqa's community worker is usually carried out within ten working days from the date of referral. Date of admission for rehabilitation will then depend on the individuals' physical, social and/or emotional needs, such as the need for detoxification and the state of preparation and motivation of the individual to enter a rehabilitation programme, and on availability of places within Dar Żerniq.
 
Q: What type of preparation is involved before entering the programme?
A: The individual is encouraged and expected to meet his/her community worker on a regular basis in order to settle any urgent issues that require attention before starting the programme, and to be given advice about how best to prepare for the programme, such as undergoing an alcohol detoxification period.
 
Q: If persons with alcohol-related problems do not want any help, what can their families do?
A: Partners and/or families of persons with alcohol-related problems can still be offered support and assistance even if the person with the alcohol problem refuses to receive any help. They should contact the Alcohol Community Services on 2388 5110.
 
Q: Is the family involved? 
A: If the person is over 18 years of age, s/he will have to give his/her consent first before any contact or involvement is made with family or any significant others. If the person agrees to involve his/her family, the programme can offer a lot of support, and if need be, therapy to the family as well. However, young people under the age of 18 years will need their parents' consent before any medical treatment can be offered. Similarly to what have been said above, if the involvement of the family is recommended by the Aġenzija Sedqa professional worker, then it is highly advisable to involve them.
 
Komunità Santa Marija - Residential Drug Rehabilitation Programme
Q: How long does one have to wait before being given an appointment and before being admitted to Komunità Santa Marija? 
A: An appointment with an Aġenzija Sedqa's community worker is carried out as soon as possible depending on the length of the waiting list. Date of admission for rehabilitation will also depend on the individuals' physical, social and/or emotional needs, such as the need for detoxification if the individual is on any mind-altering substance, and the state of preparation and motivation of the individual to enter a rehabilitation programme.
 
Q: What type of preparation is involved before entering Komunità Santa Marija? 
A: The individual is encouraged and expected to meet his/her community worker on a regular basis in order to settle any urgent issues that require attention before starting the programme, and foresee to possible family logistic needs.

Q: How does one spend his/her day at the residential programme?
A: Once in the therapeutic community, the resident has to follow a particular daily structure designed to enable behaviour modification. This will consist of activities related to the running of the house, group psychotherapy, individual therapy, vocational training, positive recreational activities, and the acquisition of new skills, both practical and theoretical.

Q: How long is the programme?
A: The programme is divided in two parts.  The first part is structured over a period of 8 months and divided into three phases. The first phase is fully residential, the second phase allows the individual to start exposing oneself to the society gradually with a set number of hours every fortnight or according to the individual’s needs, and the third phase is the phase in which the resident is encouraged to find employment or attend training and in this phase the resident can sleep at home over the week-end. The second part consists of a non-residential phase where service users are provided with ongoing support and individual sessions.  This part is seven months long.

Q: Can the resident receive visitors and phone calls while at Komunità Santa Marija? Will she/he be able to go out? 
A: Phone calls commence after two weeks with a weekly ten-minute phone call. Visits with minor children are held from the first week or according to the individual’s needs and circumstances whilst visits with close family members are held after 4 weeks every fortnight. Once the resident is in the second phase of the residential programme the visits stop since the resident can visit his or her significant others outside of Komunità Santa Marija.

Q: Does one have to pay for the stay at Komunità Santa Marija?
A: No, the stay at the programme is free of charge. However, each resident will be expected to finance their own personal needs, such as toiletries and clothing. However, foreigners residing in Malta need to have been paying tax and N.I. contributions for 12 consecutive months to benefit from this service free of charge. Otherwise, a nominal fee applies.

Q: What happens when the programme is finished?
A:  By the time a resident has completed the programme, s/he would have been assisted in resolving past intra-personal issues, increasing their self awareness so as to prevent relapse and developing positive values that enable them to re-integrate within society. Once the resident finishes the whole rehabilitation programme, s/he can attend After Care groups and on-going sessions with the community worker, keep attending individual therapy and also family therapy. This will provide a healthy safety network for the resident to turn to in high risk situations and have better chances of avoiding relapse. 


  Supportline 179


Q: Can a person calling 179 remain anonymous? 
A: Yes, the caller has the right to remain anonymous. However, if the caller wishes to be referred to any of the services offered by Aġenzija Sedqa, s/he will need to provide his/her basic personal details.

Q: Who runs the Supportline 179?
A: All calls placed through Supportline 179 will be received by professionally trained volunteers.
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