|Focus on Families|
|Focus on Families is one of ten programs cited nationally by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse as an effective drug and alcohol prevention program
for children. Focus on Families was featured in the nationally broadcast PBS
series "Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home" that aired in March 1998.
Focus on Families was recognized earlier in 1999 by the Office of National
Drug Control Policy (Office of The President) as one of eight programs nationally that
are working to stop the cycle of addiction in families.
T/H/S collaborated with the University of Washington to develop a special parenting program to meet the needs of people recovering from drug of alcohol addiction who have children. The Focus on Families Program is unique in our community because the challenge of parenting while in recovery is openly addressed. In addition, four months of intensive group therapy and eight months of in-home visits enable parents to effectively apply skills learned in the classroom in the home.
Our primary goals are to help parents in recovery avoid relapse and implement parenting skills to provide a healthy, nurturing environment for their kids. The children from these families are at greater risk because they imitate the behavior of parents who also need to obtain parenting knowledge and take a stronger parenting role.
This program depends on funding from private sources. At current funding levels, the program is able to assist a little over 10% of the parents with children receiving treatment at T/H/S each year, or 36 families including 36-50 children.
We continue to support this program because of the promising results being achieved by the families, as reported by University of Washington researchers who also helped design it. The study compared families who participated in the program to those who did not. The researchers reported that patents who completed the program and focused on parenting had far fewer drug relapses and applied greater problem-solving skills. They were also more successful communicating with their kids about expectations at home and in school and about family conflicts like drug and alcohol use.