Mothers for Recovery Support Group made possible by grant from the Community Foundation

With funding from a $30,000 grant from the Red Deer and District Community Foundation (RDDCF), a new support group for mothers living with substance use disorder will begin this January, run by Family Services of Central Alberta (FSCA). This initiative seeks to provide mothers with the support they need to overcome addiction while also ensuring that childcare needs are met during programming.

Mothers for Recovery provides an opportunity for mothers who are seeking or maintaining recovery from substance use to receive non-judgmental support in a safe and confidential space. The program involves weekly meetings co-facilitated by a social worker and a mother in recovery herself, modeled after the idea that the best teachers for mothers with addiction are individuals who have recovered from addiction themselves. The program encourages mothers to share their experiences, strengths, and hopes in recovery while amongst peers with similar past and present experiences.

“Our adjudication committee recognized that mothers with substance use disorder face unique challenges, including stigma and shame,” said Erin Peden, RDDCF Executive Director. “The Mothers for Recovery program makes sense as an evidence-based early intervention strategy to support not only mothers, but also their children. Our hope is that this grant can facilitate the creation of a program that provides connection and resources for mothers who most need specialized peer support.”

To reduce barriers to attendance, young children can participate in the Mothers for Recovery Child Development program which is designed to provide a nurturing environment for children while their mothers attend the support group sessions. Children will be cared for in an adjoining space by qualified childcare providers and will engage in play-based developmental programming. As children with a parent who has substance use disorders (SUDs) are more likely to have lower socioeconomic status and increased difficulties in academic and social settings and family functioning, breaking this cycle is possible with early intervention programs such as Mothers for Recovery.

“This concept grew from the lack of addiction services available for women that they could bring their children to and that also dealt with the sensitive parenting issues that accompany substance use disorder,” said Judy Scott, FSCA Executive Director. “We want to make it as easy as possible for mothers to attend our meetings and get the support they need, without the barrier of finding reliable childcare.”

The program will be held at the FSCA Parkland Mall site and is free to all individuals who identify as a mother and who are seeking or maintaining recovery from substance use, with no agency referrals required. For more information on attending, call 403.309.8222.