Santa Fe Recovery Center
Santa Fe Recovery Center
Santa Fe Recovery Center (SFRC) is a nonprofit, CARF-accredited substance use disorder program with facilities in Santa Fe and Gallup, New Mexico. We work with individuals to sustain lifelong recovery from substance use disorders and related mental health conditions by providing culturally relevant, evidence-based treatment and education in partnership with other community organizations.
In 2018, in an effort to fill the gap in available substance use disorder treatment services tailored for women and, specifically, women with children, SFRC established the Women and Children’s Residential Treatment Program in Santa Fe. We enable women to bring their children ages 0-6 into treatment with them for up to 90 days. We also treat women who are pregnant.
Women are statistically less likely to seek help for substance use disorders due to barriers like stigma, childcare needs, lack of appropriate programming, financial challenges, fear that their children could be taken away from them and limited options for women who are pregnant. Additionally, substance use disorder treatment is not “one-size fits all.” It’s essential to tailor clinical strategies and treatment programming specifically to women for the greatest chance of success. This includes taking into consideration factors such as the unique health concerns of women, the role of socioeconomic differences among women, gender expectations, society’s attitudes toward women with substance use disorder, the prevalence and history of trauma and violence, and the significance of personal relationships in women’s lives.
And ultimately, our goal is to not only successfully treat the women in our program, but help break the cycle of trauma, illness and addiction across multiple generations. Many addictions are rooted in childhood trauma, and children in New Mexico are reported to experience greater exposure to adverse childhood experiences compared to children in most other states which puts them at greater risk of developing substance use disorders later in life. According to the National Institute of Health, children of drug addicted parents are 45-79% more likely to also develop substance use disorders.
Our treatment model emphasizes healthy attachment and bonding between mother and child, and our Therapeutic Child Care initiative, which has continued to thrive thanks to the generous support of the Santa Fe Baby Fund, is a key component of our Women and Children’s Residential Treatment Program.
Generous funding has allowed us to further grow our Therapeutic Child Care program by focusing on staff training, creating policies and procedures that support quality services and enhancing our maternal support in the residential area. A library of children's books and box of developmentally appropriate toys are available for children and mothers in SFRC’s purpose built, Family Support Center. We’ve also been able to offer more direct one-to-one parenting support and have increased our case management services for the children through coordination with other community agencies.
But, the most successful, and frankly, heartwarming, activities that we been able to offer are community outings for the mothers and children. These outings serve to build the parent-child relationship, promote healthy attachment and bonding, strengthen and support parenting skills, offer the child developmentally appropriate activities, and to expose the women and children to fun activities in the community. We have actively developed collaborations with various community agencies such as the Santa Fe Children's Museum, the Folk Art Museum, and Santa Fe Libraries, to name a few.
Many of the mothers and children have never visited any of these community spaces — during a recent visit to the Children's Museum, one mom said that she had never had “so much fun” with her son and that she “had no idea the museum even existed.” She had tears in her eyes on several occasions as she played with her son whom she had been separated from for a few months. She said she was trying to make up for the ways she had not been there for him due to her addiction.
At a Southside Library outing, another mom and her two daughters enjoyed quality time reading together. She too admitted to never having been to a public library and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be with her daughters there and have what she called “a normal experience with her girls.” Before leaving, she looked into getting a library card for herself and her girls.
Learn more about the Santa Fe Recovery Center: https://www.sfrecovery.org/
The Santa Fe Community Foundation invited its Santa Fe Baby Fund grantees to submit stories related to its January topic of Early Childhood.