How it works

Program stages

Our 6 stage program has proven to be our key success factor in getting people back on their feet and on their journey to restoration. The illustration below shows the theme of each stage as you progress in your journey.

"If I were to become a participant at the Esther Foundation, what could I expect?"

Stage 1:  Community

This is the time to get settled into a loving and supportive community and start to look at the factors that brought you here.  We will help you discover the goals that you would like to achieve during your stay with us, everyone's journey is so unique!  This also involves getting used to accountability frameworks that will help you break harmful patterns and find hope for a new future.  You will be assigned a Buddy (a Stage 4+ participant) to help show you around and be an ongoing point of contact for any questions you might have.  Choosing to approach things with a "can do" attitude right from the very start will be a very important part of how well this program works for you!  Learning not to quit when times get tough is an important life lesson to learn.


Stage 2:  Recovery

Once you have adjusted to living in community then you will feel more ready to start attending individual counselling plus group learning and discussion sessions.  You will find that you have a lot in common with others as everyone is here to learn and grow!  Our holistic, therapeutic program has a lot to offer you in strengthening your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.  You will have daily and weekly routines including set mealtimes, exercise, chores, outings,  etc.  Active engagement in all aspects of the programs and services will help you gain as many benefits as possible.  Taking ownership of your own journey and accepting the consequences of your actions are important aspects of this stage.


Stage 3:  Growth

By now you will find you are really starting to make significant progress in understanding what patterns of communication and relating to others are helpful, compared to old patterns that were perhaps hurtful and/or ending up in dead-end relationships.   The deeper you allow honest and life-enriching truths to sink in, the more you will find your authentic character changing and your outlook on life improving.   Establishing healthy boundaries in relating to others are patterns learned in this stage that will affect how you relate to others for the rest of your life!   You will also learn other essential life skills like managing money, paying off debts, maintaining cleanliness, etc.  Once you demonstrate responsibility in applying all that you have learned, you will start to unlock privileges and further opportunities towards the next stage.  Hard work pays off and it feels so rewarding when you can really start to see progress! 


Stage 4:  Maturity

This stage now marks the transition from working on your "inner world" to now engaging more actively in our wider community.  From now on you will be given opportunities to engage in either educational/VET certificates or else practical work experience on our property and at our Cafe.  You will gain valuable skills towards being able to get a job after you graduate from the program.  At this point you can be trusted with responsibilities and start being given early leadership opportunities, where staff will mentor and coach you as you learn to help others from the life lessons you've learned thus far.  This will involve trial and error as we are all imperfect and learning as we go! You will also have opportunities for further outings and longer visits with family members.


Stage 5:  Leadership

You are now trustworthy to take on further leadership responsibilities and have learned how to interact with others for their best interests rather than the old patterns of survival and "looking out for #1".  At this point you will be given opportunities to start planning for life after Esther including possibly looking for a vehicle, your own place to rent, outside employment, etc.  You are becoming more and more independent as you know how to be careful with people and opportunities that could trip you up again, and you have learned by now how to maintain healthy boundaries for life and relationships.  You will find that you have a much more positive mindset for the future as the world starts to open up before you.  You will look back at who you used to be and hardly recognise that person anymore! 


Stage 6:  Integration

You should feel incredibly proud as you now start to round the final lap towards graduating the program.  In this final stage you will finish off all your therapeutic and group work and set a date towards integrating back into your new outside community.  Many of our graduates come back to work at Esther as they are deeply passionate about helping others transform their lives in the same way they have transformed theirs, but you may find that it is good to take a break first and even pursue further education and employment before coming back to add further value to our community.  You will have made friends for life during your stay with us and there will always be a supportive wider community that will help you maintain all that you've learned at Esther. 

Need more information? Call our Assessments Coordinator on 0458 697 455 or click here to express your interest to enrol.

A Strong Foundation

In order for young women to succeed in our program and see transformation in their lives, we have to start with a strong foundation.


Built to last

For a building to stand up, it needs to be planted on strong foundations. A building with weak foundations might stand for a while, but as soon as it meets resistance, such as from strong winds, the entire building falls over. For our girls to have true-lasting change, the foundation needs to be strong and built to last.

Built to reach the sky!

The strength of the foundation determines how high the building can go. Much like in construction, foundations have to go deep if we intend to build something that will reach the sky. In our case—the stronger our foundation is, the deeper it goes, the further our girls can go in life!

You can't build a great building on a weak foundation — Gordon B. Hickney

What makes a strong foundation?

Our organisation and program is the strong foundation required to facilitate true change in our girls' lives. The reason our foundation is strong and goes deep is because it is comprised of three key ingredients.

  1. Organisation History
  2. Purpose & Leadership
  3. A Winning Formula

The founders of The Esther Foundation were a small group of individuals that cared enough to do something for others. Since its early beginnings in 1995, the Esther Foundation still attracts leaders, staff members and volunteers that are passionate about investing in a cause that helps give young women new hope and a future. With over 25 years of proven results experience, we have been able to facilitate transformation for young women using a winning formula and proven method for consistent results.

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