Rosemary Tisch, MA, Director of Prevention Partnership International of San Jose, California, has been honored with the 2011 Ackerman/Black Award, given by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA). The award recognizes individuals whose life work has continuously raised awareness about and increased support for children and families impacted by alcohol or drug dependence in the family.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates one in four children under the age of 18, grows up in a home where there is alcohol abuse. Countless additional children and families are hurt by parental drug use. These environments can negatively impact youth—socially, emotionally, and behaviorally and can affect school success, involvement with the juvenile justice system, relationships, and employment.
“NACoA is pleased to honor and thank Rosemary Tisch for her extraordinary contributions to healing children and families hurt by the addiction of a loved one,” said Sis Wenger, NACoA president.
“Her more than 25 years of creating and managing programs that facilitate recovery for children of addicted parents, along with the training of those who implement programs, has benefited countless children and their families. Further, her work has been recognized by federal, state and local authorities who have adopted her programs to address the need for positive influences in the lives of children and families and for additional support to recover.”
Rosemary’s early work, Kids Are Special in the 1980s, was a precursor to the development of Celebrating Families! which is a strong evidence-based program that promotes recovery for the whole family and provides parenting and life skills training with its focus on sustaining recovery and attaining family cohesion and stability.
Celebrating Families! is currently listed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. It is now a NACoA program and is being used across the country in drug courts, addiction treatment programs, and community-based health and human service agencies.
Tisch has also specialized in programs for addicted women and their children across the United States, in Russia, Mexico and most recently in Argentina. Her career also included a special focus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and efforts to help pregnant women to abstain from alcohol and other substances that damage fetal development, which can have lifelong consequences.
The award is named after two NACoA founders, Robert J. Ackerman, PhD, and Claudia Black, PhD, who for more than 30 years, have been instrumental in contributing to the knowledge base about young and adult children of alcoholics, through their research, writing, teaching and advocacy.
“They were among the first to introduce the need to address the impact of parental alcoholism and drug addiction on developing children, one of the highest at risk populations,” said Wenger. Dr. Black joined Wenger in presenting the award to Tisch at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in San Diego on Sept. 20.