When Amya was eight, her childhood was interrupted when her mother, Casey, was arrested for drug trafficking. After Casey served time in prison, she was accepted into Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery (WIR) program.
Amya, now 12, wrote a letter about what life was like before WIR and shared it with the crowd during Women in Recovery’s 20th graduation on February 15, 2017.
Eighty-five percent of WIR participants have children, many of whom face their own experiences of trauma as a result of their mothers’ involvement with substance abuse and incarceration. Early intervention is essential to ending the cycle of trauma, addiction, and generational incarceration. WIR’s goal is to ensure that every child has a nurturing, healthy parent and a safe and supportive environment.
WIR offers an array of child-centered services to improve the lives of the children of WIR participants. Research shows that children of incarcerated parents are four to seven times more likely to end up incarcerated. The trauma, neglect and fear these children experience due to the loss of relationship with their mother, exposure to drug and criminal activity, and not knowing what the future holds requires intensive services.
Because of the intensive nature of the program, WIR participants must rely on the support of family, friends and the community to care for their children until they are ready and able to do so. The parenting team at WIR understands the extra demands this puts on families and therefore offers a host of services to the caregivers of children whose mothers are currently in WIR. Caregivers are assisted with school support, basic needs assistance, housing connections, healthcare, parenting guidance, legal civil support, linkage to therapy and much more.