Family House Norristown Reopens to Provide Hope and Help to Women and Children
August 5, 2022
Family House Norristown is back!
Family House Norristown is a long-term residential treatment facility for chemically dependent women and their children, and pregnant women. Special components address addiction and parenting skills, as well as prevention and intervention for children. The Family House model keeps the mother and children together so the family can recover as a unit.
For two years, Family House was closed, and its location served as a temporary residence for another RHD program, NOVA III. Now that NOVA III is established in its new, permanent location, the stage was set for Family House’s reopening.
Cheryl Bailey, RHD Regional Director for Behavioral Health and Housing, explained that Family House Norristown’s license had always remained in place. However, because of the impending change in the location’s population, they had to seek permission from the state, as well as Single County Authorities (SCA) who provided funding to the program, to reopen. “We were instructed we had to reach back out to all of our funders and began that process with the Montgomery County Office of Drug & Alcohol.”
They also needed to reobtain a license from the county’s Office of Children and Youth. “They made sure that we are providing services for our children, as well as helping mothers develop a routine, while learning how to cope and adapt to being a parent without the assistance of drugs.”
Additionally, the location had to be renovated. “It was initially outfitted for women and children of course, but then it was re-outfitted for NOVA III, which serves a medically fragile population.” Renovations are now complete.
At Family House Norristown, children live in a structured environment under their mother’s close supervision. Individual treatment plans help identify developmental delays and the effects of abuse and trauma, which they address through individual and group therapy sessions, family therapy, and other programs.
Family House Norristown also now has a staff, led by Program Director Fanta Richardson, along with an assistant director, primary therapist, life skills counselors, prevention specialist, child development specialist, and psychiatrists.
These staff members are crucial to Family House Norristown’s mission. For example, Cheryl says, “If a mother is having a difficult time nursing and is getting frustrated, that staff member is there to provide support. If a mother needs some help — maybe just a moment of time to breathe — that parental support person will take care of the child for a minute, and then help the mother develop ways to be able to cope with a child after she’s stressed out.”
With staffing, licensing, and renovations all in place, Family House Norristown can now restart its inspiring and important mission.
Family House Norristown has the following five goals:
- Increase and maintain periods of sobriety and mental health stabilization.
- Provide a supportive environment that meets the needs of each woman.
- Facilitate the development of effective parenting skills.
- Encourage the goal of living independently in the community.
- Provide opportunities that promote each child’s developmental growth.
Family House supports females over the age of 18 with a primary substance use diagnosis, who also have children (under the age of 12), and/or are pregnant, and have a goal of achieving reunification. Pregnant injection drug users, pregnant substance users, injecting drug users, overdose survivors, and veterans are priority populations.
For more information on how to get referred to Family House, please call 610-860-6511 or visit www.rhd.org/familyhouse/.