The organisation has welcomed its first infants to Benaiah – Teen Challenge’s female centre near Mintlaw – where youngsters can stay full-time, allowing mothers to complete the crucial residential programme.
This is a major development for the charity in its aim to help those with life-controlling addictions break free from their problems to live full, abundant lives.
A significant hurdle for mothers who are looking to enter a residential recovery centre is the prospect of what would happen to their children. In many cases, mother and child are separated with the infant having to be placed in care.
Now, Teen Challenge’s Benaiah staff are able to support mothers as they rebuild their lives, enabling parents to continue caring for their children.
The centre can also accommodate pregnant women with addictions, providing them with the opportunity to get clean and work towards a life of freedom.
Gordon Cruden, area manager for Teen Challenge North East Scotland, commented: “This is a very positive development – not only for Teen Challenge but for the North East substance misuse sector.
“We do, however, have mixed emotions about welcoming in youngsters. It’s sad seeing mothers in such need but we’re extremely proud that our staff are able to provide support to precious families.
“The truth is that when someone gets caught in the mess and mayhem of drug addition, other people suffer from the collateral damage caused, with chaos not only impacting on the life of the individual but also on the lives of parents, spouses and, often most tragically, children.
“This can result in heart-breaking separation, with toddlers often being taken into care.
“Now, both mothers and children can stay at Benaiah, where our staff can support the mothers to not only complete the programme, but to be the best parents they can be.”