In August, it was announced that Volunteers of America will be opening a Fresh Start Recovery Center in Columbus. The facility will include 17 bedrooms with the ability to house up to 23 women.
The Fresh Start program, which began in Indianapolis in 2015, is a unique residential treatment program for mothers and pregnant women struggling with substance use disorders. It allows mothers, who are at risk of losing their children to the foster care system, to have two of their children (ages five and under) living with them during their time in treatment. This is vital, as evidence shows that allowing children to remain with mothers during treatment results in more successful outcomes for mom as well as her young children.
The Fresh Start Recovery Center, to open in Columbus early in 2019, will be modeled after the Indianapolis program that has experienced remarkable outcomes. 61% of women discharged have successfully completed the program, and 100% of babies born while the mother was in the program were free of illicit drugs at birth.
These women were able to truly get a Fresh Start, and we are excited to be able to expand this program to Columbus.
The Fresh Start program consists of two phases:
Phase One is a 21 day program with a focus on acute stabilization, addictions treatment, parenting skills, life skills, and bonding with children. Mothers are provided with group, individual, and family therapy. Mothers and children are also provided with intensive case management and discharge planning. There are trained Child Engagement Specialists who provide children with age-appropriate learning activities, and trained staff coach and support the mothers and children in a holistic approach to recovery and family bonding.
Phase Two is made up of optional after-care for up to 54 days of care after completion of Phase One. This phase focuses on the mothers’ long-term stabilization and recovery development along with case management provides a focus on long-term recovery planning, obtaining employment, and finding housing.
This program, funded by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the Indiana Department of Child Services, is provided at no cost to the mother and insurance coverage is not required.
All locations have trained staff that are present 24/7 to maintain safety, manage difficult situations, and provide support to clients. All staff are trained in trauma-informed care, gender responsive care, motivational interviewing, warning signs of abuse, crib safety, and age-appropriate activities for children.
We are incredibly pleased to be expanding the amount of treatment available in our area, and we hope to offer even more services in the near future.