“Meeting Clients Where They Are”
Inside Home-Based Family Recovery
Most of the parents who enter HFI’s Home-Based Family Recovery service are thinking about their families. The innovative program helps parents recovering from substance use provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing home for their young children. Participation is free, but the program requires a significant commitment of time and energy. “It’s intensive,” says Hannah, a clinician for the program, “but it still allows us to meet clients where they are.”
Meeting Immediate Needs
Cindy, the program’s family support specialist, attends medical appointments with clients, schedules therapy sessions, connects families with food services, and helps them in any other way she can. “That helps because there may not be time to handle those things during their clinical sessions,” she says.
“We’re there to support [participants] on their parenting journey.”Hannah, HFR Clinician
Having a support specialists who attends to these mundane, everyday tasks helps clients focus on their recovery journey. “It helps us handle needs that would normally be barriers to treatment,” Hannah adds. “They can breathe easier knowing that someone else is thinking about those things too.” Since the treatment team meets regularly to discuss current needs, participants rarely need to repeat themselves or ask a question more than once. “We see each of our clients as a whole,” Cindy says. “They can always share what’s going on with us.”
Writing A New Story
Participants attend one-on-one counseling sessions several times a week. With help from HFR staff, they explore creative ways to support their sobriety, including exercise, arts and crafts, and outdoor activities. The minimum commitment is six months, although some families remain in the program longer. At the end of the period, staff design “step-down” plans to guide participants through the next stage of their recovery journey.
“We see each of our clients as a whole. They can always share what’s going on.”Cindy, HFR Family Support Specialist
Both Cindy and Hannah were drawn to the HFR program because of its collaborative organization and supportive, compassionate approach to recovery. “We just want [our participants] to tell us how to help,” Hannah says. “We’re there to support them on their parenting journey,” says Hannah. Both she and Cindy emphasize that they don’t lecture parents or tell them how to interact with their children. The program is not a parenting class or an intervention, but an opportunity for the whole family to heal and grow together.
Keeping Families Together
The team’s ultimate goal is ensuring the safety of children while keeping families together. “Many parents tell us that the worst thing that could happen is having their child removed,” Hannah says. She adds that the desire to nurture, spend time with, and provide for their children gives many clients a strong motivation to achieve and maintain their sobriety. “While we address their own needs,” Cindy adds, “we’re allowing parents to continue parenting and building their family relationships.”