Thanks to a grant from The Cathleen McFarlane Foundation, Inc, women in Wayside House’s residential treatment program now have access to a nationally recognized program – Celebrating Families!™ – aimed at easing family reunification.
The grant was made to another nonprofit, Horses Healing Hearts (HHH), which provides equine therapy to children impacted by family substance abuse. HHH was already working with Wayside House to provide parenting services to residential clients. So, when HHH received the grant, its founder and president Lizabeth Olszewski thought Wayside House provided the perfect opportunity for a partnership.
“”We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Wayside House through the McFarlane grant. Our goals are very complementary, and the Celebrating Families!™ is an evidence-based model. We are excited to start with the families that will be helped through this opportunity,” said Ms. Olszewski.
The Celebrating Families!™ curriculum is an evidence-based cognitive behavioral, support group model written for families in which one or both parents have a serious problem with alcohol or other drugs and in which there is a high risk for domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect. Celebrating Families!™ works with every member of the family, from ages 3 through adult, to strengthen recovery from alcohol and/or other drugs, break the cycle of addiction and increase successful family reunification. Celebrating Families!™ fosters the development of safe, healthy, fulfilled, and addiction-free individuals and families by increasing resiliency factors and decreasing risk factors while incorporating addiction recovery concepts with healthy family living skills.
In 2007, Celebrating Families!™ was acquired by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) to promote and disseminate this evidence-based program across the country. It is now in more than 20 states and Canada.
In order to provide the program at Wayside House, staff members completed a two-day intensive training in March.
HHH’s Rhonda Fritzhall, who has been providing parenting information to Wayside House clients for the past year, is excited about instituting Celebrating Families!™. She said the biggest hurdle is getting women to open up about their feelings of guilt about their families. “Women in recovery come in with a mindset – don’t talk, don’t trust and don’t feel. Get them to start talking and you’re on a roll for the rest.”
Lisa McWhorter, executive director of Wayside House, is equally as thrilled about this addition to the programs and services available at Wayside House. “We are grateful for this opportunity to further our mission of helping women overcome their addictions and be able to rebuild their lives and reconnect with their loved ones.”