Aurora Youth Centre

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Youth Treatment Programme

The Aurora Youth Centre offers a 4 week in-patient rehabilitation programme for young people (12 years to 17 years) with substance use disorders. A multi-professional team approach is followed with a strong emphasis on behaviour therapy. The multi-professional team consists of a medical doctor, professional nursing staff, a psychologist, social workers, a minister of religion and caregivers.

Therapeutic Programme

The programme consists of individual therapy sessions with the social worker, minister of religion and psychologist. Group therapy, life skills groups, educational group sessions, educational DVD’s, medical lectures and discussions form part of the treatment programme. Art and music therapy are included in the programme.  A variety of leisure time equipment (games, gym, swimming pool) are available for use during leisure time.  The focus here is to teach the youth to utilize their leisure time in a constructive manner. The programme also makes provision to attend to schoolwork.

Youth Treatment Aim

During treatment, attention is given to the management of a substance use disorder, improvement of life- and relationship skills as well as the enhancement of self-knowledge.   Young people are assisted to replace using behaviour with socially acceptable behaviour.  Parents/guardians are requested to attend sessions as arranged by the social worker.

Admission Criteria

  • The young person must be motivated to undergo treatment and give consent to be admitted for treatment.
  • Admission in the Aurora Youth Centre is voluntary, which means that no young person can be forced to be admitted if they do not give consent.
  • A thorough pre-admission assessment with the young person and parents/guardians are required.
  • If the young person has any co-occurring psychiatric disorder, a referral from a psychologist or psychiatrist may be requested.
  • Treatment fees
    • If the treatment fee will be paid by a medical aid, authorisation needs to be obtained before admission.
    • If the treatment fee will be paid in cash, the full payment must be made on admission.
    • Arrangements for payment by any other Department/Institution needs to be made before admission

Youth Programme

Aurora Alcohol & Drug Centre


The Aurora Youth Centre’s treatment programme is registered with the Department of Social Development as a diversion programme.  Professionals assess young people in conflict with the law. If the assessment indicates that the young person has a substance abuse problem he / she can be diverted through the juvenile justice system to attend the six-week treatment programme at the Aurora Youth Centre.

The main purpose is to divert the young person away from a life of crime and the justice system. In doing so, the young person has a second chance to build a healthy, balanced life.  A detailed report from a probation officer working with the young person, as well as a diversion order, is required for admission.  The same admission criteria apply.

Out-Patient Treatment

Aurora Alcohol and Drug Centre also offers a 30 day out-patient treatment programme for youth.  A thorough assessment by the social worker as well as the doctor needs to be done before admission to this programme can be considered.  The programme consists of the following:

  • Daily check-in at the Centre to take the prescribed medication (30 days)
  • Random drug testing
  • 8 Individual therapy sessions with the social worker
  • The young person must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for the assessment

Consultation Sessions and Motivational Interviewing

Consultation sessions are a pre-admission option. If a young person needs information and guidance regarding substance use, an individual session can be arranged with a professional at the centre.

The focus of the session will be based on the individual’s specific needs. This can be constructive intervention, motivational interviewing or an assessment.


The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether an addiction is present, the extent of the addiction, whether there are co-occurring conditions, and to assist in the development of a treatment plan. Assessments are interviews that consist of questionnaires and self-assessment.

The addiction assessment is a simple process. The social worker will ask the young person to fill out a standardized questionnaire focussing on his/her current drug or alcohol use, treatment history, health history, patterns of behaviour, symptoms, and the effects the addiction has had on the young person’s life. Afterwards, the social worker will conduct a face-to-face interview with the young person, asking standard, open-ended questions that provide information regarding his/her substance abuse problem and related challenges.

A report compiled by the social worker will be available after completion of the assessment if the young person gives written consent. The report needs to be addressed to a professional that will use the information to assist the young person.

Aftercare Programme

Abstaining from using any substances after days, months or years of addiction is not easy for anyone. Going through treatment for addiction is often a life-saving exercise. However, it is just the first step in an ongoing process toward recovery.

Individuals addicted to substances are never “cured” from their addiction.

Once treatment is completed, a vacuum can develop. The young person is now out in the world, having to deal with situations and feelings that they may not be prepared to manage.

Aftercare provides a continuation of counselling and support once the substance abuse treatment programme has been successfully completed.

The Aurora Youth Centre offers an aftercare programme.  Attendance is highly recommended as the young person receives continued support which is important in recovery.  The group meets every two weeks.

For any enquiries about the youth treatment programme and the out-patient treatment programme,
please contact Rethabile Lenkoe on 051-447 7271 or