Parents recovering from substance use disorders often report personal experiences of dysfunctional family dynamics during their own childhood, poor parental modeling, and a lack of knowledge about effective parenting skills and age-appropriate developmental needs of their children. Without interventions to improve responsive adult caregiving, chronic stress experienced during childhood as a result of parental substance use, particularly during early childhood, has significant implications for the long-term health and wellness of children whose parents struggle with addiction.
Funding from Caring for Colorado Foundation supported the implementation of an early childhood social, emotional, and health education program at The Haven Mother’s House, a residential facility serving women with significant substance and/or mental health challenges and who are pregnant or recently delivered. Clinical staff received training to implement an evidence-based parenting group curriculum, The Incredible Years®, and BHWP provided implementation support and program evaluation of feasibility and efficacy. Results revealed significant increases in self-reported parental competence and efficacy and decreases in reported parenting stress after participating in the program.