Portage’s Mother and Child Program in Québec
Many substance-dependent mothers are hesitant to seek drug addiction treatment for fear that they will lose legal custody of their children. They often feel judged as mothers and prejudiced against when priority is given to the protection of the child over their own need for rehabilitation treatment. In response to these concerns, Portage created a unique and innovative residential program to allow mothers with young children and pregnant women suffering from drug addiction to maintain custody of their children while in treatment. The Mother and Child program was established in 1996.
Do you think that you or someone you know may need drug addiction rehabilitation therapy?
Portage has helped thousands of people to overcome drug addiction and go on to lead healthy, productive, drug-free lives. We can help you.
The Mother and Child Program allows the family unit to stay together during this important learning and growing period. The mothers work on strengthening their bonds with their children while they address their addiction to drugs, their role as a parent, and problems of isolation, health care, and family and interpersonal relationships. The residential program is based on the therapeutic community approach
and provides competency-based therapy
through accredited treatment techniques
The Portage Mother and Child Residential Rehabilitation Program is based on:
- Voluntary admission
- Program length from 6 to 8 months, based on individual need
- The mother can have up to two children with her, aged between 0 and 6 years
- One year follow-up at the Habitations Communautaires Portage is available
- Specialised and unique therapeutic community adapted to the needs of mothers and their children
- Psychological and physical security
What will you do during your stay?
A typical day at Portage includes:
- Daily therapy groups on substance abuse and parenting
- Socio-cultural and recreational activities for both mothers and children
- Individual case management
- Family support
- Daycare services adapted to the needs of the children
- Psychotherapy is available, if necessary
Why come to the Mother and Child centre?
- You can keep your family together while seeking drug addiction treatment
- Treatment is conducted in a warm and caring environment
- A highly qualified and multidisciplinary team will take care of you and your child/children throughout your treatment
A program for mothers with children at heart
At the Mother and Child centre, programming has been adjusted to allow mothers and pregnant women to stay close to their children. During this quality time together, the mothers develop parenting skills, which facilitate a smooth transition back into society once they have completed their treatment.
Children remain in their mother’s care at all times, except for when they are at the on-site day care centre. At La Ribambelle, the children are cared for by specialised child care workers who draft personalised intervention plans for the children and work with the mothers to achieve the objectives stated in these plans.
Portage also understands how important it is for the children to maintain relationships with other significant people in their lives (father, brothers, sisters, grandparents, social worker, etc.). The program includes weekend activities, planned outings, and special events so that the children can spend time with these people.
Portage’s Mother and Child Residential Rehabilitation Program in Québec - Quick Facts
Services for residents’ families
are an essential element of Portage's treatment program. Provided through group and individual meetings, they help the family understand and manage the issues created by a drug-dependent family member.
At the Mother and Child centre, Open House Days are organised four times a year for family members to go visit the mothers and the children.
Social Reintegration Programs and Aftercare Services
Reintegrating back into mainstream society is a special concern in the Portage process, as the residents’ new values, behaviours, and attitudes are put to the test in the outside environment. The Portage Program prepares them for this challenge, giving them the tools to be able to withstand negative influences as well as to cope with the stresses of mainstream living. With its Social Reintegration and Aftercare Programs
, Portage accompanies former residents with support groups and individual meetings.
Graduates of the Mother and Child centre have access to the Habitations communautaires Portage
, which are affordable supervised apartments. This experience empowers the mothers and helps them with social reintegration by involving them in the day-to-day management of their living environment. They are responsible for the proper functioning of community living, with help from the caseworkers at Portage. Each person therefore exercises control over the quality of her environment
The Habitations communautaires Portage
were made possible thanks to partnerships with the City of Montréal and the Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal