Change can be both scary and painful – but it can also be the greatest gift we give to ourselves. Janessa’s story is one where change leads to success, and it serves to inspire everyone around her. It’s a true testament of how #LoveRestores.
In May 2016, Janessa decided to apply for Washington County, Tennessee’s Drug Recovery Court while she was in jail. “Because of the decisions I made entering Drug Recovery Court and joining Families Free – I have my children back, and I’m raising my children sober,” said Janessa.
More than a year later, Janessa’s first steps toward sobriety have allowed her to stand before her peers, friends, and our Families Free team to celebrate her success. This accomplishment means everything to Janessa.
“Before entering the Recovery Court program, I held on so long to dark places and dark people. I didn’t have my children; I didn’t have anything. I was actually sleeping in the woods at the time, because I didn’t even have a place to go. I’m walking out today knowing I can do it by myself. I’ve made so many changes, and it’s all because of Recovery Court. I did choose to change, but I wouldn’t be here today without Families Free,” said Janessa.
Janessa with Families Free’s Judy Clark and Lisa Tipton.
Janessa receiving her diploma from Assistant District Attorney Michael Rasnake and Megan Price, coordinator for the Washington County Drug Court.
Partnerships with programs such as Washington County, Tennessee’s Drug Recovery Court are vital in our work to support the community. However, it’s the incredible transformation of women like Janessa that truly showcases how love guides both the Families Free team and the individuals we serve.
Families Free is happy to announce that we have been awarded the Nurturing Families of Tennessee contract from the Department of Children’s Services for the Northeast region.
Family Specialists with Families Free will be providing 16 weeks of in-home services to families in our region that are at a moderate to high risk of their children entering the state’s custody. Clients will have to be referred through the Department of Children’s Services, but we wanted our community to know we are on the front line of intervention and response. We will be going into homes to sit down and present clients with this new opportunity, and this service will provide education using the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting curriculum. The goal of this program is to increase parental capacity to reduce both admissions and length of stay in the foster care system, as well as support family restoration. Families Free will begin receiving referrals for this new program on September 15, 2017. Nurturing Families of Tennessee is made possible by our partnership with kidcentraltn.com.
MeredithOur New Program – Nurturing Families Of Tennessee
As part of their “Addicted at Birth Series,” Tammy Childress of the Bristol Herald Courier dives deeper into the personal stories of those affected by addiction in our region. In the follow up to the first piece, WOVEN Coordinator Rachel Adams and Families Free Executive Director Lisa Tipton discuss how our program provides vital treatment, tools, and support for mothers who have delivered, or are at risk for delivering, a drug-exposed infant. To read the full article, and learn more about the first-hand experiences of women who have taken part in WOVEN’s three-part program, follow the link here. #LoveRestores
Writer Tammy Childress of the Bristol Herald Courier tells the story of Shawna Ramos, whose newborn son was born with NAS – neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Born exposed to the Subutex that his mother took throughout her pregnancy (as part of medical assisted treatment), Shawna’s son Ashton started receiving morphine every three to four hours to help ease the effects of withdrawal. “It’s been a wakeup call. Seeing him like this and knowing what he is going through makes me realize that I need to stop using,” Ramos said, looking at her son sleeping in her lap. “I know now that I need to even stop taking the Subutex because even though it helps me, it’s not worth this — I think seeing the pain he is in will help me to get clean.”
DCS was called when Ashton was diagnosed with NAS, and Ramos said they are handling things differently this time. “This time, the case worker that came to the hospital told me about a program in Johnson City called WOVEN,” she said. “They have support groups and other things that can help me come off drugs and stay clean. I’ve already talked to them twice, so I’m going to go there, and they can help me come off of everything.”
You can find the full article via the Bristol Herald Courier here. To learn more about our WOVEN program, please follow this link.