An effective way to build a reputation as a reliable and credible source of support and assistance is to provide practical and useful responses to young people’s most pressing issues. In this way, a practitioner demonstrates a willingness to shape their service response to the unique needs of a young person and others involved in their care.

At initial contact a client may be in crisis and require urgent attention. Services should be prepared to implement crisis intervention and brief intervention strategies aimed at enabling a client to reach a position of relative safety and stability. Until these basic needs are met, the effectiveness of AOD counselling or skill building will be minimal (Karabanow & Clement, 2004; Statham, 2004).

  • Doing something that the client finds useful early on in the relationship:
  • Provides an incentive for them to further utilise the service (coming back again)
  • Can engender confidence in the practitioner and the service thus encouraging further investment in a more therapeutic relationship.