FTC Provides Hope and a Plan to Overcome Addiction
Submitted by Beverly Landingham, FTC Facilitator
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is hearing the success stories of families at follow-up FTCs. I recently met with a mother whose rights were terminated on her two children several years ago in another state; she then moved to Florida, gave birth to a third child, and the baby was sheltered as a result of the mother’s ongoing substance abuse. At the initial FTC, the mother relayed that she’d made several previous unsuccessful attempts at substance abuse treatment; she truly had the desire to be drug-free, but never had a plan of action and didn’t know who she could turn to for support. At the FTC, conversation focused not only on local treatment providers, but also about building a strong support system for the family, the importance of establishing a relapse plan, and the need for ongoing after-care upon completion of a treatment program.
At the follow-up FTC, the mother proudly announced that she had been drug-free for 8 months. Additionally, she was able to share that she’d utilized the resources discussed in the FTC to acquire stable housing, part-time employment, and was planning on returning to school. More than anything else, the mother was excited to celebrate having recently been granted unsupervised visitation with her child, and that those visits were going so well all parties anticipated that the family would be reunified at the next court hearing.
When asked, the mother noted that the clear outline of a plan of action, the development of a strong support system established at the beginning of the case, and an overall tone of helping, teamwork, positive affirmations and celebrations of success, as being essential components that were instrumental to her overall success. These interactions, she said, were in stark contrast to her previous involvements with the dependency system, during which she felt blamed, chastised, and looked down upon.