Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Some familiar organizations are launching a new program aimed at helping moms and keeping families together. Its goal is to treat women with addictions while strengthening their families and allowing them to stay together.
It is called the Midlands Family Care Center, and is a collaboration between the Epworth Children's Home and the Lexington Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, or LRADAC.
"It's really, really exciting to see it come to fruition," said Rev. John Holler, President and CEO of the Epworth Children's Home.
A renovated cottage on the Epworth campus will soon house four mothers and up to ten children whose families are struggling with addiction.
"This really give us an opportunity to give them a break from the other stressors in their life and concentrate on just getting their family better," said Debbie Frances, LRADAC President and CEO.
The home has more than just bedrooms and places for children to play, it also comes with rooms for individual therapy for the children and space for group therapy sessions and other treatments to prepare them to survive as a family when they leave.
"Hopefully through this program the mothers will get better, they will learn how to parent better, they will learn more self-responsibility, they will be moved to job type placement, all of this with some guidance and stuff, but what we're hoping to make this a sustainable family forever," said Frances.
The new approach is already in operation at a facility in York and the model and experience at Epworth is expected to help launch other similar centers in our state and beyond.
"Not only will it have an impact on the people we serve, but also as we model this, other facilities will incorporate it. We can help train, so it will make a difference throughout the state," said Holler.
The families will remain at the center for up to six months based on referrals from the state, and when their time at Epworth is over organizers hope their efforts will lead to more stable family units that will support themselves and the community.
"We're really, really excited about being able being able to keep these families together and make them stronger," said Frances.
DSS is hoping to put between up to twelve centers like this throughout the state. Director Lillian Koller says we may be able to soon see similar centers in Sumter, Horry, Greenville Counties.