Harrisburg, PA — The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) is offering a new publication—a 34-page parenting workbook called "Recovering Families"—which is designed to be used by parenting programs, drug and alcohol inpatient rehab facilities, outpatient counseling offices, and support groups that are working with parents who are recovering from chemical addiction.
"The stress and overwhelming demands of parenting can make parents in recovery vulnerable to relapse," said Beth Bitler, program director for PFSA. "It's a balancing act—avoiding a return to drug or alcohol use while parenting responsibly. This workbook presents a curriculum that programs and agencies can use to help those parents maintain that balance, to stay sober and on the job as good parents. If we can do that, we can help keep kids out of the child welfare system."
Bitler said traditional parenting programs focus on such things as stress management, alternatives to physical discipline, and child safety. The new workbook goes further by "incorporating the 12-Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous into the framework of good parenting skills."
Among the topics are: talking with children about addiction and recovery, techniques for balancing recovery and parenting, developing healthy behaviors along with parenting skills, and working with the child welfare system.
"This approach is especially valuable for parents who didn't have role models for good parenting in their own lives," Bitler said.
"Recovering Families" will become available from PFSA in November. It costs $8.50 per copy plus shipping and can be ordered from the PFSA website at www.pa-fsa.org.