Bright Hope partnership coming to B&GH thanks to GCC Grant

November 2, 2020

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, in partnership with Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, has received a grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission to create Bright Hope, a no-fee, residential family-based treatment program.

The $585,620 grant will allow the program to provide residential care for child victims of parents suffering from substance use disorder. This family-based treatment and unification service will provide housing and treatment while the parent is in recovery services.

“Boys and Girls Homes has provided care for youth victims of abuse and neglect for more than 65 years,” said Director of Development Mike Garrell. “Our services have evolved throughout the years to meet the needs of the children and families now before us. The majority of adults entering treatment have children, and these children are at high risk of victimization from the substance abuse behaviors of the parents.

“Parents struggling from addiction will be assured their children are also receiving care,” said Garrell. “It’s important to treat the person with the addiction as well as to treat the family as a whole. The children and youth will learn healthy coping skills and supportive ways to focus on self-care. When whole families are treated, outcomes for each individual member improves.”

Joe Kennedy, an experienced therapeutic director, will be running Bright Hope on the Lake Waccamaw campus.

“Acceptance and belonging are crucial and should be preserved within all families,” said Kennedy. “In Bright Hope we will be using an ‘extended family model’ to collaborate with parents as they manage their recovery at Brunswick Christian Recovery Center.”

According to survey results published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one out of every three people knows someone with a substance abuse challenge. The survey further indicated that half of all people who drink are addicted to alcohol. About 38 percent of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder with 1 out of every 8 adults struggling with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.

Facing Addiction with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s Facts About Alcohol found that 40 percent of all hospital beds in the United States are used to treat conditions related to alcohol consumption.

“One way to prevent children from entering into the foster care or Department of Social Services system is to treat the parents and the children of substance use disorder and strengthen their reunification as a healthy, substance-free family with the skills to build resiliency and succeed as a healthy family,” said Kennedy. “This is something that is directly addressed in the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).”

Having child care is a big hurdle for adults with substance use disorder according to Brunswick Christian Recovery Center CEO Josh Torbisch.

“What keeps parents from getting into recovery is not having someone to take care of their kids,” Torbisch said. “If they know that they have an option to go into a residential program that takes care of their children they may be more willing to go into the voluntary placement. It will keep the children out of the DSS system.”

Funding became available Oct. 1, but a realistic goal to begin placing children ages 6 to 12 would be closer to the end of the year as updates are made to the Civitan Cottage on the Lake Waccamaw campus to make it more comfortable for young children.

“We want to begin serving kids as soon as possible,” Kennedy said. “Our model is based on our house parents being an ‘extended family’ for the children while mom or dad are in rehabilitation. We want to be certain that the facility meets the needs of children in a family setting and we have a team of house parents ready and trained to be an extended family for the children coming to live with us.”

The program includes family therapy, incorporating best practices from Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP) with a core model known as “Family Success!TM”.

“The purpose and goal of Bright Hope is to nurture the child as their parent or parents finish a successful program,” said Kennedy. “Bright Hope, although practiced in a family group setting, focuses on the individual strengths of each child. We look at each child, their unique set of needs, and how we can best serve the child and develop an individual plan for each child. We believe it is our responsibility to provide for our children a sense of belonging and feelings of self-worth. We believe the need for acceptance and love is vital to their success while living with us at Bright Hope as they prepare to be with their parents again.”

Bright Hope is supported by grant project number PROJ013954, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.