Understanding and Support (U.S.) Women’s Program


The Self Help Addiction Recourse Centre (SHARC) is a community service based non-government organisation. SHARC has a range of services that includes Recovery Support Services (RSS) for young people under 25, the U.S. Women’s Recovery Program for women in recovery over 26, a family support program and a consumer support advocacy service.

SHARC services are based on the principle of self-help and mutual aid. It is about people with a common problem coming together in mutual support.

The U.S. Women’s Program offers women over the age of 26 a unique opportunity to build on their recovery in a community setting utilising self-help, peer and community support.

 The U.S. Women’s Program is not government funded, it is supported by philanthropy and volunteers.

The Program

The U.S. Women’s Program is non-prescriptive regarding recovery plans and methods, however participation in recovery focused community self-help groups is our requirement. 12 step programs are the main type of self-help groups used for this support by residents. The U.S. Women’s Program guidelines are for residents to attend at least four community based self-help groups per week and three structured program groups or activities per week.

There is no strict time limit on participation in the program, however staff will reflect and discuss with the residents when it appears an appropriate time for review. Residency in the House is dependent on being engaged in SHARC program.

The U.S. Women’s Program House is self-organised and self-run. All residents are expected to participate equally in cleaning, cooking and other household chores. These duties are negotiated between residents on a regular basis.


To be eligible for residency at the US Women’s Program House, an applicant needs to:

  • Be a Woman over 26 years of age, desiring change and recovery from drug and alcohol issues.
  • Be fully committed to continuing abstinence from alcohol and/ or other drugs.
  • Be currently working on recovery and have or willing to develop a personal recovery plan.
  • Have a minimum of 30 consecutive day’s sober / clean time immediately before taking up residence.
  • Be prepared to participate in the life of the House and abide by the House Rules.
  • Be supportable and able to operate in a peer support network with minimal supervision from staff.

Any further questions or assessment enquiries can be forwarded to Pamela Vale, U.S. Women’s  Program Worker, at SHARC on 03 9573 1710 or pvale@sharc.org.au.

Please note this is a part time position, working Monday and Thursday per week.