Monday October 19, 2015 I attended a luncheon at the Children’s Program of the Betty Ford Center to commemorate significant milestones reached this year along with new developments. Helene Photias, Manager of the Children’s Program, was a gracious host at this event. Jerry Moe, National Director of Children’s Programs, gave another one of his inspirational talks of the difference we can make in children’s lives and ways children enrich adults who are trapped in the cycle of addiction. Many of us were moved to tears.

The Children’s Program empowers children with healthy living skills and the realization that they are not to blame for their loved ones’ addictions. Most impressive is that no child is turned away due to an inability to pay. Children I have referred to the program love attending and have found it life changing. Some of the newer programs include a Spanish Children’s Program and Continuing Care group through age 18. Following is a link to a Desert Sun article that discusses the Spanish-speaking program:

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/health/2015/10/19/betty-ford-center-expands-spanish-childrens-services/74240054/

Also celebrated at the open house, was the dedicated relationship between the BFC Children’s Program and the Desert Sands Unified School District. Explained by Helene Photias: Since 1997, the Children’s Program staff has worked alongside school principals and counselors to facilitate four-day Children’s Programs on school campuses for children who may not have otherwise had the chance to attend our community program.  The school programs provide preventative education for children whose parents may still be active in their substance abuse. This year we reached 1,600 children served in the DSUSD!

We are pleased to provide a continuum of care for children at all stages of recovery from their loved one’s addiction.  Our community professionals are a large part of our efforts to reach children and to educate families about this cunning disease. The Children’s Program exists to help children discover and practice the process of recovery from the family disease of alcoholism and other drug addictions.