The Profile of Therapeutic Communities Worldwide

WFTC second World Social Report presents a detailed overview of the reality of therapeutic communities globally

WFTC World Social Report

The World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC) is an international nongovernment association that engages in building collaborative coalitions and networks of social, education, and therapeutic systems that support the therapeutic community model of care – Image: WFTC, all rights reserved

Published in December 2023, the second World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC) World Social Report is an important step towards understanding the needs and realities of organizations operating in the field of drug treatment. Dianova participated in the survey and has collaborated in the elaboration of this report available in English, Spanish and Portuguese languages.

  • World Social Report N°2: EN ES PT
  • World Social Report N°2 (Brief version): EN ES PT

Situation of the Therapeutic Communities

383 organizations from 40 countries participated in the study. It should be noted that most of the organizations that responded are from Latin America and the Caribbean (62%), followed by Europe (28.5%). The majority of Therapeutic Communities (TCs) operate in organizations with a national or local scope of work. Only 4% of the responding organizations have an international scope. Most of the organizations offer a grassroot type of work, or carry out grassroot activities combined with advocacy. Thirty percent of the organizations surveyed have a single source of funding.

In total, the organizations participating in the survey served 339,156 people in 2022. Of all people served, 90% were in TCs targeting both male and female genders. Female-only services were non-representative (0.1%), compared with male-only facilities (7.9%).

The target population consists of adults (96.7%), adolescents (38.2%), and homeless people (41.9%). In addition to the work carried out in residential facilities, the organizations reached 1,431,639 people with their work.

Regarding the duration of treatment, the majority of people are served in programmes of 6 to 12 months’ duration. Longer programmes (more than 12 months) are more frequent in Asia.

The professional profiles most present include psychologists; administrative/financial personnel, counsellors and social workers. Doctors and psychiatrists appear to be more present in North America and Asia.

86.2% of the people served are treated in non faith-based programmes. The regions where faith-based programmes are most widespread include Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, based on the compulsory or optional nature of their religious activities.

In terms of treatment modality, 89.4% of the organizations surveyed offer residential treatment facilities, 56.5% outpatient treatment facilities, 22.9% harm reduction facilities and 27.2% housing facilities. Outpatient treatment appears to be more common in North America and Europe.