The Forest will help people with histories of drug use and reincarceration to leave prison and go into a well-resourced, interconnected support network that takes an ecological and holistic view.
This service will help people gain stability, connection, the ability to dream, and ultimately be an integrated part of their community.
Our co-design process is just the first step in growing The Forest. We are seeking support to establish The Forest as a large, multi-year, community-based trial. The intention is to establish The Forest as a consortia of existing Victorian service providers under a single-governance structure. A robust evaluation structure will be integrated into The Forest trial, with a focus on key outcomes that include reduced recidivism and reincarceration and improved health and social outcomes for people who connect with The Forest. We will also embed a rigorous cost-effectiveness / cost-benefit evaluation that will support sustainability and expansion. The ultimate aim is for The Forest to catalyse a permanent systems change that is both cost-effective and delivers substantial social and community benefit.
2019 - Ongoing
Our methodology: for over two years, we have worked with a group of professional and lived experience experts and used best practice co-design methods that go far beyond traditional and simplistic modes of consultation.
Our solution: The Forest is a place-based organisation that brings together health and support services, a social space with formal and informal activities, a social enterprise that can offer employment pathways, and offer of flexible housing options, all delivered via a peer mentoring approach.
Benefits and impacts: The Forest was designed by those with first-hand experience of how the existing post-prison landscape has failed those who use drugs. It is unique in its focus, approach and the potential of its impact.
- Paul Ramsay Foundation
Meet the project team. Together, we are translating research into better health, for all.