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Image by Papaioannou Kostas


Located in Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne’s West, Dreambuilders stepup4youth is a faith based recovery program for youth.  Our day program targets specific needs by introducing group sessions and practical teaching on issues such as conflict resolution, communication skills, identity and self-worth, life skills, literature and numeracy, workplace ethics, discipline and boundary setting. We are a client-centred community with an abstinence approach.

Stepup4youth is a program designed to encourage thinking consequentially to assist young people in their recovery from addictions, shame, guilt; anything that has caused their life to become out of control. 

The stepup4youth program is led by young people who have already worked through their own recovery and are ideally placed to help and mentor our young members along their way to a new life.

The program is focused on learning and healing but also having fun and creating community amongst both the leaders and members. We find it important to create healthy fun memories and to provide hope to those who feel trapped or feel as if nothing is good anymore.  To help them understand that there is a way out, and our team will help them find it.

Services are provided within a structured, safe and supportive environment. A core concept of the stepup4youth program is the intentional use of the peer community to promote constructive social and psychological change in individual members - thus residents are highly involved in working with each other, on each other, and taking responsibility for charting their own progress.  The program has groups such as process group where program members are able to bring behavioural “stuff” to each other in a safe environment, facilitated by experienced leaders.  Often we cannot see our own behaviours and these groups are facilitated to ensure that feedback, given out of love from our peers, is understood.  Then our members are given tools and coaching to work on changing these behaviours.

The stepup4youth program utilises individual counselling and group work to achieve its goals. Group work encompasses educational, therapeutic and support groups addressing topics which include anger management, guilt, shame, social skills, assertiveness training, relapse prevention and nutrition. In addition to group work, each member is assigned a caseworker who is responsible for tailoring interventions to the unique needs of the individual. These may include supporting members while they address issues associated with the criminal justice systems, family and community services, housing and other legal or financial matters that may arise.  As required, a counsellor is also allocated to assist each member with their unique needs. 

Stepup4youth is divided into a week of induction and then four stages.  The program has a minimum of twelve month duration with each stage lasting for approximately three months.  Different skills and areas of healing and growth are targeted in each stage.

We provide a safe and welcoming place for recovery, a place where our members can feel a sense of security and support.  We aim to give members their best possible chance at life and will do what it takes to get them through successfully.

For more information please give us a call or send us a message

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Induction Week provides a taste of the stepup4youthProgram. We work through what trauma is, experience classes, groups, recreational activity during this week which culminates in the question: How do you need stepup4youth to help you with the struggles you identified on day 1?


This is where participants:

  • Join classes to gain an understanding of basic human behaviours and develop life skills.


  • Learn how to make informed choices about future treatment needs and options.


  • Receive education on issues such as relapse prevention, relaxation, harms minimisation, infectious diseases, basic nutrition and conflict resolution.

  • Go through basic sessions on anger, shame, grief and loss, fear and guilt, and self-esteem.

  • Participate in work therapy in the community.

Life begins to change.


This stage involves:

  • ​Increased feelings of self-worth, gaining self-confidence in decision-making and learning through consequential thinking.

  • Restructuring lifestyles, developing healthy attitudes and activities, and setting realistic goals.

  • Exchanging false belief systems and learning Cognitive Behaviour Therapy through self-regulating behaviour.

  • Addressing core issues including past trauma, grief, loss and shame.

Personal recovery is underway.


  • Classes in Management and people skills, stress management and time management.

  • Selfless behavior and identify, and address power and control issues in their behaviour and belief systems.

  • A meeting with a job consultant and job provider is undertaken early in Stage 3 so that participants can begin discussing what they want to do vocationally.

  • Work experience and or study may be undertaken in this Stage.

Stepping into a new life


Participants in this level of the program are required to:

  • Volunteer time in some area of Dreambuilders Transformations to help mentor new participants and to keep themselves accountable in their new behaviours.


  • Be actively seeking and/or in employment or vocational training.


  • Attend some of the groups within the program and undertake a book study which draws together the learning in the previous three stages.

Moving to...


Changed behaviour, life in control, positive relationships and healthy boundaries are in place.

New life begun.

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