Friends of the Haven

Marginalized women are susceptible to suffer from severe substance abuse disorders stemming from trauma, abusive family environment, and co-occurring mental illness and lead to criminal behavior. Our unique program that takes a holistic approach to addressing substance disorders and mental illness.

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Baby Haven Early Childhood Center

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Crime/Abuse Victims
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Families
Female Adults
Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Description

The new Baby Haven opened on March 15, 2011, following a highly successful capital campaign in which nearly 3 million dollars was raised, with gifts from 2 foundations and numerous businesses and individuals. This program is unique, being the only therapeutic early childhood education center dedicated to the needs of drug-exposed infants. The program has a Colorado Child Care License and is Qualistar Rated

Women enrolled in The Haven participate in residential Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) treatment for 9-12 months, followed by an additional 9 to 12 months of aftercare. Clients are referred from the criminal justice system, county child welfare and TANF programs, homeless shelters, other human service agencies, families, or through self-referral. The women progress through the program in successive stages, with each stage offering more privileges and responsibility, which are earned by the women as they work toward building an extended period of sobriety.

Women with infants are able to have their children reside in the program with them, a major strength of this program; without this important feature, women with children, and pregnant women, would not elect to enter this kind of long-term residential treatment. Prenatal care is arranged for pregnant women, and infants living on-site receive developmental assessment, specialized educational day care, and interactive interventions with their mothers. Regular visitation is arranged for parents whose children live off-site, and these clients are afforded an opportunity to transition to day treatment in order to regain custody of their children. Other wrap-around services are also provided, including mental health assessment and treatment, educational and vocational services, and coordinated medical and dental care. In sum, The Baby Haven is more than a child care center, it is an integral part of the treatment for the mothers and a setting that is the locus of an array of educational, therapeutic, and health care services for the infants.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Haven has been evaluated by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice in 2006, reaffirmed in 2010, as the most effective treatment program in Colorado. Two years following graduation more than 90% of the women are living in the community in a productive capacity; they are crime and drug-free.

The Baby Haven also is highly successful in generating an array of positive outcomes. For babies born while mothers are in treatment, the average birth weight is 7.5 pounds. On multiple developmental measures, the infants in the Baby Haven have been found to progress at rates that are comparable to babies who have not been drug-exposed in utero.

The Haven

Class

Mental Health, Substance Abuse 

Beneficiaries

Female Adults
Mentally/Emotionally Disabled
Offenders/Ex-offenders
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Substance Abusers (Drug/Alcohol Abusers)

Description

The Haven is a 65 bed residential treatment program within Addiction Research & Treatment Services (ARTS), Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine. Pregnant, post-partum, parenting, and women without children reside together and actively participate in Modified Therapeutic Community treatment addressing substance addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. The program includes educational and vocational assessment; and job training and placement. The Haven has been evaluated by a key state agency to have the highest success rate of any similar program in Colorado; 2 years after graduating, more than 90% of the women remain in the community leading productive, crime and drug-free lives.

The Haven is licensed by the Colorado Department of Behavioral Health. While the program serves principally the metro Denver area, referrals are received from across the entire state. Major referral sources include county social services and child welfare departments, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), community corrections, probation and parole, homeless shelters, managed care organizations, primary care health providers, and by self-referral.

The Haven programs have been successful over the past two years in developing and implementing services that are highly integrated with primary health care providers. For example, the program is working with the Rose Family Practice and resident physicians to provide education to staff and clients about a range of healthcare-related topics and issues. Another important partnership is with Sheridan Health Services (SHS), with The Haven offering behavioral health services to patients in the SHS who receive their primary care from the SHS.

The Haven is unusual in the breadth of its programs and services. Typically addictions treatment service providers focus on the substance abuse problem; other related issues may or may not be addressed, depending on the intensity and duration of the program. The Haven has a standard length of stay in the residential phase extending from nine to twelve months, followed by an equivalent period in outpatient treatment while the woman resides and works in the community. Additionally, The Haven has secured foundation grants and other sources of funding to augment the addictions treatment with a comprehensive educational and vocational program, in which the women are assessed and then provided with a 'package' of services that prepares them to secure and maintain gainful, meaningful employment. The Vocational Coordinator provides these servcies; in addition, she markets the services to businesses, many of whom join with the program to hire, provide additional training for, and mentor women who are graduating from the program. Sustained recovery is significantly enhanced by the ability to work at an occupation that compensates women and facilitates their improved sense of self-efficacy through their work.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Numerous studies have been conducted focusing on the outcomes of the services provided to women in The Haven. The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice reported in 2006, and reaffirmed in an updated study released in 2010, that The Haven was the most successful program of any included in the evaluation. Two years following graduation from The Haven, more than 90% of the women were leading substance-free, crime-free, productive lives in the community.
The following is a recent success story for The Haven:
When asked what family means to her, Joann will tell you that, "Family means love, support, and closeness." This is how she sees her relationship with her son and grandson now; however, this was not how she would have described her family when she was growing up. In fact, she will tell you that growing up with parents who were addicted to heroin and prescription pills meant that her parents didn't have the ability to show their love or support.
Joann was three years old when she remembers going to live with her grandmother because her parents were in prison with charges related to their substance addiction. When Joann turned 11, she was reunited with her mother, who was still abusing drugs, and at this age Joann began to experiment with speed and alcohol; within two years, she had begun using prescription pills and LSD with her mother. At age 15, Joann became pregnant and was sent to a group home for unwed mothers. Joann was able to stop using drugs and alcohol while there and delivered a healthy baby boy. "I saw how my mom lived and I didn't want to be like her. I wanted to be a good mom."
Joann tried to refrain from using again. However, when she was discharged from the group home, back to the care of her parents, she found herself again enmeshed in a chaotic life of addiction. Her mother continued her drug abuse and her stepfather began beating both her mother and Joann. Joann wanted to leave and escape from the abuse and drugs, but her mother begged her to leave her baby with her. Joann, only 17 and desperate, left without her son.
Joann had her sister move into an apartment with her and began going to Aurora Community College. It wasn't long before her sister convinced her to return to the family lifestyle of using drugs. Her sister was selling heroin and Joann began to do the same. Joann would continue her heroin addiction for the next 15 years.
Despite her extensive addiction, Joann yearned for a family, and when she found herself in a supportive relationship, she was able to avoid heroin for almost 7 years. When the relationship ended, however, she again turned to her parents, but as in the past, the only consolation her family could offer took the form of substance addiction and the lifestyle dictated by addiction. In order to maintain her daily heroin abuse, Joann began to commit crimes and would accrue four felony charges over the course of the next several years. By her fourth felony charge her mother had passed away, she was homeless and living out of her car. " I knew if I went back to prison I could get another chance to get my life back." Joann was sentenced to Denver Women's Correctional Facility and was admitted into the within-prison Therapeutic Community (TC).
She was then transferred to The Haven.
Joann states that it was at The Haven where she finally learned what family really means. At The Haven she was taught to "do the right thing." She finally had role models to teach her how to live a drug-free lifestyle. "The Haven taught me how to give back and to care about myself and others. I wasn't a mom until I graduated The Haven. Before the Haven, I couldn't help my son because I couldn't help myself."
Today Joann is a Doula at The Haven Mother's House where she provides pregnancy and parenting support to mother's in recovery. Through her work as a Doula she is able to witness mothers and children reconnecting and forming healthy families. She is the primary care-giver for her grandson, and she has assisted her own son, who also suffers from substance addiction, to seek treatment through the ARTS Peer I treatment program. Joann states that she is grateful that today she can be an effective and positive role model for her son. "Today I am a mom. He saw that I got treatment and he says, 'if my mom can do it so can I.' He says he is proud of me."

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