Florence Crittenton is announcing expanded programs to help Helena-area parents struggling with addiction.
The nonprofit organization, which traditionally provided services for young mothers, restructured its programs about a year and a half ago. Leaders say they wanted to put a greater emphasis on addressing mental health and substance abuse – issues they were seeing among the clients they served.
Florence Crittenton is now opening a residential recovery program for mothers between the ages of 18 and 30. Leaders say it is unique because it allows the women to keep their children with them as they go through substance use treatment.
“We really feel passionately about how mom can bond with baby, and really help support her in not only her recovery journey but also in her parenting skills,” said Barb Burton, Florence Crittenton’s executive director.
The organization is also expanding its outpatient services, including addiction therapy and Nurturing Parenting classes for families in recovery. Burton said those services are available to a wider range of people.
“We can serve young fathers in that program, community members, and make sure that we’re able to wrap services around people in a little different way,” she said. “It’s a more comprehensive, sort of continuous approach to the needs in the community.”
Burton said Florence Crittenton is committed to working with children as well as their parents. Earlier this year, they launched a community preschool program for two- to four-year-olds. They also offer child care and other services.
“We’re really concentrating on the children as well, so that they get their needs met in a unique way within the setting,” she said. “They aren’t simply a tag-along to Mom who’s getting the treatment, but they’re getting their own treatment plan as well.
Burton said there are openings in Florence Crittenton’s outpatient services. She said she hopes people who need this assistance will seek it out.
“Being in recovery or having an issue with substances is not anything to be ashamed of,” said Burton. “What we really see is that it’s a medical condition, no different than having diabetes or anything else – it needs treatment. So our goal really is to help those families remove some of the stigma and the shame from that, and help them be the best parents and individuals they can be going forward.”
Florence Crittenton is currently getting ready for the annual Paint the Town Pink gala, the organization’s largest fundraising event, which will be held Feb. 9. Tickets are now available on their website.
-Reported by Jonathon Ambarian/MTN News