Children’s Program News California
The California Childrenâ€™s staff maintained a steady presence in the community this summer.Â In addition to facilitating our four-day programs on the Betty Ford Center campus twice a month, we dedicated much time to providing tools to children, families and professionals.
For the third year, staff from the Childrenâ€™s Program visited the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center.Â The Highland Center serves children year round, offering after-school activities and summer sessions in the north Palm Springs area.Â In June, we facilitated the last of our ten one-hour sessions for the fiscal year, offering addiction education, problem-solving and self-care skills to kids in kindergarten through 8th grade.
Betty Ford Center hosted the annual East & West Network Luncheon in June.Â Over 70 professionals from the valley attended, sharing ideas for helping children and families in our community.Â Helene Photias, California Childrenâ€™s Program Supervisor, presented at the event.Â Helene also had the opportunity to lead a mini workshop for the Riverside County CASA meeting.Â Over 20 Court Appointed Special Advocates were present to learn of the correlation between foster children and drug or alcohol addiction.Â Tools were provided to volunteers so that they could help guide foster parents in better helping their children.Â Staff also presented Changing the Family Legacy at the Eisenhower Medical Center Junior Volunteerâ€™s Luncheon.
In August, staff from the California program joined counselors from Texas and Colorado to facilitate a program for nearly 50 kids at the annual International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA) in Buffalo, New York.Â We also led a Family Communications workshop at the Desert Strength Academy for the Riverside County Probation Department.Â Once a year, the Academy holds a week long character building camp for at-risk youth, and provides useful tools to kids that need guidance.
Staff continues to provide early preventative education and recovery awareness in the community, joining others in the Coachella Valley Health Initiative Forum and volunteering with Celebrate Healthy Families, a recovery event planned for October 2, 2010.Â Such community events pursue a common goal of helping children and families live happy, healthy lives free from drugs and alcohol.