Help For “Families In Recovery”


Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state leader in child protection, and Delaware County Family Center, a Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) program, announce the start of a pilot program that strengthens parenting skills for Pennsylvanians recovering from substance use disorder (SUD). The 7-week program, to be held Tuesday evenings from Jan. 15-Feb. 26 at Delaware Family Center, St. Bernard Hall, 1515 Lansdowne Ave., Darby, Pa., will teach moms how to balance the needs of their recovery while learning healthy coping and parenting skills.


“We are delighted to join with Delaware County Family Center in our mission to protect children from abuse and neglect and strengthen family ties,” said Angela M. Liddle, MPA, president and CEO of PFSA. “The Families in Recovery program offers support and practical, real-life strategies to bolster parents who are overcoming substance use disorder. Nurturing their wellness and the health of their children is a vital component to child abuse prevention.”


“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the leadership of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance to encourage and strengthen families as they recover from substance use disorder,” stated Maria Edelberg, Ed.D., executive director of DCIU. “Delaware County Family Center looks forward to providing families with the tools they need to be the best parent they can be for themselves and their children.”


PFSA developed the curriculum and first piloted it successfully last fall at Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg. The person-first curriculum draws on the latest research in addiction recovery and best practices in parenting, and is inclusive of the 12 Step principles of recovery.


“By giving parents a safe space where they can acknowledge themselves as individuals, parents, and people in early recovery, this program offers an environment that fosters their strengths and resiliencies,” noted Kayla Kressler, MA, PFSA director of prevention programs. “Parents in recovery have to balance the roles and the demands that both of those experiences put on them. This program helps them develop the social supports they uniquely need to be successful in recovery and in parenting.”

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Identifying Parent and Family Strengths and Needs
  • Understanding How Principles of Recovery Can Be Applied to the Parenting Experience
  • Learning and Navigating the Change Process as a Parent and within the Family
  • Understanding How Family History Influences Parenting and Communication Style
  • Developing an Understanding of Discipline and Development
  • Identifying and Practicing Healthy Coping Skills
  • Managing Visits and Effective Communication with Caregivers
  • Developing a Plan for Individual Self-Care and Family Wellness as Part of the Recovery Experience

The Family Centers selected for this pilot provide community-based supports and services to parents, children, and families. The Centers use a strengths-based approach to help families overcome challenges posed during the parents’ recovery from addiction. A generous grant from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Dept. of Human Services, enables PFSA to offer the pilot at these sites:  

  • Family Resource Center of Blair County
  • Bucks County Family Center
  • Coatesville Family Center (Chester County)
  • Columbia County Family Center
  • Delaware County Family Center
  • Erie Family Center (Erie County)
  • Greene County Family Center
  • Outreach Center for Community Resources (Lackawanna County)
  • Children’s Advocacy Center (Lawrence County)
  • Farrell Family Center (Mercer County)
  • Norristown Family Center-Carson Valley Children’s Aid (Montgomery County)
  • Perry County Family Center

To learn more about this program and availability in your local community, please contact PFSA at 800-448-4906.

 PaFamily Support Alliance and DCIU Logos

ABOUT PFSA: Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance prevents child abuse and protects children from harm by helping parents learn positive parenting techniques, educating professionals and volunteers who work with children to recognize and report child abuse, and helping community members learn how they can play a positive role in keeping children safe. To learn more about our programs, schedule a training, or make a donation, please visit the PFSA website or call 800-448-4906.

ABOUT DELAWARE COUNTY FAMILY CENTER: The mission of the Delaware County Family Center, a program of the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, is to help families become stronger and self-sufficient members of our community. Since 1994, the Family Center has become the heart of a neighborhood centered strategy to provide comprehensive, prevention focused services for Delaware County families. It is a resource that families and communities can use to strengthen their resolve, and recognize the strengths of each unique family and offer caring and respectful education, information and support services to increase families’ abilities to care for themselves. The Delaware County Family Center encourages all parts of the community to join together to strengthen families and the communities in which they live. To learn more, contact 610-532-2811.