Supporting families affected by substance abuse
What we're about..PARENTS FOREVER is a professionally supported, mutual support group for parents and family members of adult addicted children (18 years of age and up) and is managed by Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver, which has been providing services to parents for over 20 years.
Parents and family members find PARENTS FOREVER through a variety of sources – drug and alcohol counsellors, doctors, lawyers, hospitals, social service agencies from the From Grief to Action website (www.fgta.ca) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver (http://www.bgcbc.ca/).
Intake of new parents or family members is generally done by phone with the group facilitator at which time folks are given a clear idea of what to expect at group and what the group’s philosophy and mandate is. (i.e. to help folks learn new ways of coping and maintaining a connection with their addicted loved one)
Meetings are held every second week (Friday evening), with 25-30 parents in attendance at each meeting. The group has a full time facilitator and volunteers who take on the responsibilities of the library, refreshments, recruiting speakers, etc.
Regular communication is maintained through confidential e-mail reminders advising members of regular meetings, special events such as speakers, drug and alcohol education and advocacy events, and anniversary celebrations.
PARENTS FOREVER receives basic funding from three sources:
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver,
Vancouver Coastal Health,
Grief to Action.
WHAT DOES SUPPORT LOOK LIKE AT PARENTS FOREVER?Support is given on two levels:
EMOTIONAL & PRACTICAL
On the emotional side, parents and family members usually arrive at group when they are in deep crisis and coming to grips with the fact that everything they have been doing up to that point has not been working. From the moment a new parent/family member arrives at group, they are surrounded and comforted by people who:
Truly understand what they are going through
Do not judge them, or blame them
Offer hugs and shoulders to cry on
Give hope and encouragement that change is possible
Parents leave their first meeting feeling UNDERSTOOD, ACCEPTED AND NOT ALONE!
When parents are ready and want to start working on some of the issues that face them on a day-to-day basis, we help them to move to the practical side, and offer them a variety of tools and strategies we hope will improve the quality of their own lives. We believe that education is the most powerful tool a parent can acquire and we provide the membership with current information on drug and alcohol educational series offered by community health centres, as well as other education seminars and conferences focusing on substance abuse and families. The group also maintains a well stocked lending library.
At each of our meetings we provide current drug and alcohol resources. From time to time we have speakers, and in the past we have had addicts in recovery, drug and alcohol counsellors, mental health educators, and lawyers.
Components of a PARENTS FOREVER meeting include introductions, sharing of successes, sharing of resources, small group time focusing on individuals and problem solving, and most importantly: supporting each other to make change!
"Veteran" parents continue to attend group meetings to offer support and encouragement as well as sharing their stories of success, whether it is a child making a decision to change, or a parent regaining their strength and feelings of self-worth.
*Frances Kenny asks you to call her before coming to a meeting for the first time. She wants you to be sure the group is what you're looking for. Her contact information is in the CONTACT area of this website.
© 2009 Parents Forever