Foundation Helps Those Who Help Themselves
The path of life’s journey is certainly smoother for some than others. Circumstances like unemployment, homelessness, lack of access to education, and an unsafe home environment are bumps in the road for many. Substance abuse is also a diversion from that smooth path, yet it carries a stigma not shared by other hardships. However, it is a disease that touches every race and economic level, creating havoc in the home and workplace. Locally, Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) is a leading provider in comprehensive alcohol and drug services for adolescents, men, women, women with children, children, the homeless, and the criminal justice population, helping those struggling with the disease of addiction to right their paths.
Children are often those who suffer the most serious effects of substance abuse. Children of addicted mothers are much more likely than others to exhibit significant behavioral, cognitive, communication and emotional delays. But LCADA has a very unique approach to treating the children of addicts. The Key, LCADA’s 16- bed residential treatment program for women, is the only program in Ohio to keep children with their mothers during their average 45 to 60-day stay. “All children receive testing to determine their developmental levels upon entry to the program and upon exit,” says Tom Stuber, LCADA CEO. “Our goal is to bring each child to his or her age-appropriate levels.” LCADA uses a model called “Ages in Stages” that is designed to help children between the ages of birth and 5 years. The program focuses on child and family enrichment, emotional and developmental milestones, and nurturing and attachment. In addition to assessing the children, the mothers are also assessed pre and post-treatment regarding parenting skills to ensure that, once back home, they will be able to nurture their children and effectively communicate appropriately based on the child’s developmental level.
Women participating in The Key’s intensive residential program are busy from sun-up to sundown. They begin at 7:30 each morning with breakfast, followed by group meditation and treatment and finish with dinner and appropriate Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Highlights of the week are Wednesday Family nights with both social and therapeutic activities and visiting hours on Saturdays. “Our goal is to show these women and their children that there is hope. Life can be different,” says Helen Rodriguez, Director of The Key. And their approach is working with nearly fifty percent of those treated attaining recovery.
The Community Foundation has long been a supporter of LCADA with grants totaling over $281,000 and dating back as early as 1984. Most recently, the Foundation invested $37,000 for a Vocational Case Manager to assist LCADA clients in gaining employment. This grant was made possible by the Dorothy and Elizabeth King Memorial Charitable Fund.
For more information about LCADA, to learn how to help them help others or to access their residential, workplace or outpatient services, visit them online at www.LCADA.com.