Information for professionals

Day Services: offer an individualised and structured educational programme delivered by a team of educators and youth workers led by the Head of the Learning Hub. This includes accredited, modules in basic literacy and numeracy, agri-business, pottery, woodwork, emotional literacy, life skills and media literacy. Day services integrate features from psycho-educational programmes targeting substance use (e.g. Seven Challenges & Seeking Safety) with formal and non-formal education.

Residential Services: include 24-hour care, 7 days a week led by the Head of Residential Unit coordinating a team of therapeutic facilitators and domestic staff. Following a holistic assessment, adolescents will then move on to an admission phase. Following the successful completion of this phase they will be welcomed as fully integrated members of the community. At Caritas Tal-Ibwar we commit ourselves to welcome, collaborate with and involve the caregivers and family members in the adolescents’ journey. Caregivers and family members will be offered family therapy and family support through multi-family groups.

Psychosocial and Family Services: include a holistic assessment offered to day and residential service users integrating psychological, social work and medical aspects. Services include family therapy; individual psychotherapy; psychological sessions and multi family groups


At Caritas Tal-Ibwar, we meet adolescents where they are and seek to provide them with a professional substance use treatment. The following models guide this trauma-informed and family-focused treatment:

Attachment, Regulation and Competencies (ARC) Framework

This is an overall framework within the three main areas of service delivery for interventions with adolescents who have faced multiple adverse life experiences, including complex trauma. It informs our way of being, guides our relations and supports our thinking whether throughout everyday activities or within more focused interventions. ARC focuses on building secure attachments, enhancing self-regulatory capabilities, and increasing competencies across multiple domains. Every staff member at Caritas Tal-Ibwar is trained in the ARC framework.

Seven Challenges®

Seven Challenges is a programme which guides interventions carried out by therapeutic facilitators, psycho-social professionals and educators. It is designed to motivate adolescents to evaluate their lives, consider changes they may wish to make, and then succeed in implementing the desired changes. The programme helps adolescents to address their problematic substance use, their co-occurring life skill deficits, and other situational problems.


Milieu Therapy

A therapeutic approach where everyday events are opportunities for therapeutic growth and where home like surroundings encourage healthier ways of thinking and behaving.

Individual psychotherapy

Delivered to both adolescents and their caregivers/significant others. Sessions aim to address the problems each individual presents within the context of their relationships with others.

These sessions with therapeutic facilitators aim is to provide a safe environment where adolescents can learn new skills and reach their goals.

Key Working Sessions

In these groups adolescents will be invited to participate in therapeutic art activities with a trained professional.

Creative Arts Therapies

Social Work Sessions & Interventions

These interventions aim to support adolescents and caregivers/significant others to reach and work for  a better quality of life.

Family Support Groups

For caregivers and significant others. These groups offer a safe place to share and process the ”family experience” in relation to addiction.

The primary focus is the interaction amongst family members aiming to improve the quality of their relationships, their communication and conflict resolution.

Family Therapy

Challenge the adolescents’ limits through outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and camping.

Wilderness Therapy

Skills Building Groups

Through these groups adolescents and caregivers/ significant others will be able to develop and refine various interpersonal and interpersonal life skills.


Team games at the multipurpose pitch, physical training at the assault course and yoga.

Accredited Courses

These courses offered to adolescents attending the day or residential programme include media studies, outdoor education, hospitaity, agribusiness, woodwork, pottery and also core curricular subjects, i.e. English, Maltese and Mathematics.


Referrals are accepted from entities such as: 

  • Social welfare agencies.
  • Justice system.
  • Education agencies.
  • Other relevant organisations within the social, education and pastoral fields; and 
  • Families and individuals.


Eligibility Criteria

  • 12 to 17 year-old.
  • Engaging in problematic substance use.
  • Availability of an alternative back-up residential placement (can be family home) in case of premature departure from the programme.
  • Plan for identifying exit placement once the programme is completed.
  • Ability to contribute to and benefit from a therapeutic community either as day care or residential. 

The referral procedure to Caritas Tal-Ibwar will consist of four phases.

  • Receipt of referral. 
  • Initial screening of referral.
  • Assessment phase.
  • Decision about way forward.