Mothers are not out of hope when it comes to seeking recovery from substance use disorders. In fact, Gaudenzia is home to one of the first treatment programs in the United States for women with children – Vantage, based in Lancaster, Pa.
Established in 1979, Vantage is one of Gaudenzia’s five main programs that serves mothers who need treatment. Women are admitted into Gaudenzia’s facilities for varied lengths of stay and are provided services ranging from trauma-informed care to medication assisted treatment (MAT), psychoeducational therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Treatment addresses co-occurring mental health disorders, along with social determinants of health such as homelessness, poverty, education, food insecurity, incarceration and unemployment.
Women participate in individual or group therapy sessions through Gaudenzia’s programs. Vantage team members, who range from childcare staff to clinical professionals, nurses, case managers, and even a cook, provide support around the clock, giving women and children the support they need to successfully reintegrate into their communities. The program also includes seminars for mothers on financial literacy, parenting skills, general and reproductive health, dietary education and other life skills.
New Image, another one of Gaudenzia’s programs for women with children which is based in Philadelphia, provides occupational skill building for the women who are being treated. They can develop professional skills by managing different aspects of the program like the kitchen, laundry, and grounds maintenance. Childcare staff at New Image provide support to young children who are admitted with their mothers, while also coaching their mothers on parenting skills.
Gaudenzia will soon dedicate The Bobby Spurrier Center, the first halfway house for women and children in Philadelphia. This facility will house up to 16 women, who can each have up to two children for a maximum capacity of 48.
Facilities like Vantage, New Image and the Spurrier Center remove significant barriers that many women with children face in seeking treatment, as they fear separation and, in some cases, losing physical custody of their children. Women who stay in Gaudenzia centers know they will be given shelter, treatment, support and a place to be safe.