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Year-old program has helped mothers and children impacted by addiction thrive

Posted at 6:28 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 10:19:15-04

CINCINNATI — After its inception in 2019, a local program has seen the quality of life improve for mothers and children who have been affected by addiction.

The Child Resiliency Program from First Step Home, a women's substance abuse treatment center located in Walnut Hills, has helped at least 60 children and over 90 mothers since the program began. The program offers therapeutic services, like child therapy, nursing care and speech pathology, to children up to 12 years old.

Anders and her 2-year-old daughter, Beauty Singleton, have both received help from the program.

"I've struggled with addiction on and off for some time," Misty Anders, who has been clean for a year, said. "It's scary. I'm scared to death, but the world is scary."

According to Anders, Singleton has some sensory issues, which the program has helped with.

What's more, though, the program has helped the mother and daughter to be a family.

Anders said the program has "literally taught me how to bond with my daughter and how to be a better mother."

Naomi Sims-Satterwhite, the clinical director of First Step Home, said some of the children who come into the program have neonatal abstinence syndrome and suffer from tremors. And since the program started, childcare services have seen a 72% improvement in social skills, as well as reduced separation anxiety, in children.

"The services we provide," Sims-Satterwhite said, "they're necessary. They're essential."

And Anders agrees.

"I didn't even want to live," Anders said. "Today, I definitely want to live. There's a different part of me that's amazing and ready to thrive."