SAOL, established in 1995, is a community based educational and rehabilitation day programme for women in treatment for drug addiction. We are based in Dublin’s North Inner City. SAOL believes that education is the key to escaping poverty and addiction.
Tier three on the 4 Tier Model of Service Delivery, SAOL promotes social, educational, recreational and vocational reinforcement interventions to assist in recovery. This community reinforcement models combines well with our community development approach leading to better outcomes for the women who attend SAOL along with their families and communities.
The average school leaving age of our client group is 14 years old and very few leave school with any formal educational qualifications. SAOL is therefore attempting to redress the educational balance for its clients in the context of a drug rehabilitation framework. SAOL provides participants with the opportunity to complete a level four FETAC certificate and also provides classes in addiction, personal development and life skills.
SAOL works from a case management and care planning approach in order to meet the person centred needs of every individual. Each client is afforded the opportunity to develop a personal plan. The project then works with them to help them achieve their identified goals.
The provision of childcare is essential for both equality of access and a CRA-based approach to recovery. SAOL is unique within Dublin’s Inner City in that it provides a full time childcare facility for the participants. emphasis is placed on child development and the programmes offered to the children are integrated with the adult programme. All participants of the adult programme are offered FETAC accredited child-care programmes and/or individual parenting programmes and support. Each child is a service user in their own right and the other family members are also seen as service users and given support as family members or guidance in relation to their own addiction-related issues.
The main programme for our participants revolves around our FAS funded Community Employment Scheme. The educational elements of this programme are discussed on our education page. It is important to note here that this programme allows us to work with our participants in a holistic manner addressing educational (including literacy and numeracy) and vocational requirements and health needs relating to both general health and addiction. To do this, SAOL maintains excellent contact with relevant community supports including LTI and LES. A pre-CE course also runs, allowing us to assess potential CE participants and appropriately match the woman to programmes available.
SAOL is an acronym of four Gaelic words - Seasamhact, Abaltacht, Obair, Leann which translated into English means Stability, Ability, Work and Learning.