BMC celebrates milestone for children of recovering parents
CIRCLE counselors Mark, Jackie, and Sue celebrate a successful first children’s graduation.
The circle of treatment was completed for more than 25 families at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center. Families gathered in the LLUBMC gymnasium to celebrate the first-ever children’s graduation from the Children In Recovery: Cope, Learn, Empower (CIRCLE) program.
Due to the generous sponsorship of the Fieldstone Foundation, CIRCLE expanded treatment sessions in 2006 and 2007 by adding an extra day of treatment in order to help more families heal. The response to the extra treatment sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.
To celebrate the children in recovery, each child was given a T-shirt and a CIRCLE dog tag, sponsored by Fieldstone.
As each child proudly walked up to receive his or her graduation certificate, shirt, and dog tag, parents and program staff clapped and cheered in celebration of families who have been made whole through recovery. The message the children carried on their dog tags reads: CIRCLE 2007: Recover, Cope, Learn, Empower.
Both children and parents who have participated in the program shared the joy of recovery and their appreciation for the children’s graduation.
Jill Pollock, RN, MS, administrator for the LLUBMC, spoke to the families and said, “We are grateful that you were able to come to the BMC, and we thank God that you are sitting here in celebration of your little ones today.”
The children’s therapy group has operated within the chemical dependency program for more than six years.
The program was originally designed to reach children of parents in recovery, to help them express the fears and grief that addiction has created within their family. Program staff realized that they could not help parents transition into recovery without significant attention to children.
While the children’s group has been consistently provided free of charge, the number of children attending the sessions has grown, increasing the need for sponsorship.
The empowerment of families and the celebration of the children’s completion of CIRCLE brought hope and healing to all who attended the children’s graduation.
By Megan Daly