The Coventry House is a 10-bed halfway house for substance-abusing pregnant and post-partum women. It allows mothers to bring up to two existing children into the treatment facility to avoid disruption of the family unit. Empowerment, self-esteem, abstinence and independence are addressed. Coventry House, opened in October 1993, is the first such long-term residential treatment center in the Hartford area.
It grapples with the immediate health problems of mother and child and also helps women deal with longer-term challenges. Primary among those is helping residents see how they came to addiction and, through counseling and 12-step programs, helping them find a path back through sobriety.
Residents are expected to pay for care to the extent possible and are encouraged to volunteer for community work, both to re-pay society and gain self-respect, and to explore potential vocational choices. Once interested, residents are encouraged to participate in community vocational training programs.
In addition to vocational training, women are instructed in family dynamics and child rearing, and helped through joint counseling to re-establish family unification whenever feasible. The 4 to 6 month residential program at Coventry House provides sanctuary, counseling, nutrition and substance abuse education, parenting skills, arranges for pre and post-natal care, and prepares women for return to the community as whole, contributing members.
The maternal drive to see a child thrive is an important ally in this struggle. The program admits children with their mothers, and can house ten women and twelve children. While in treatment at Coventry House staff will support clients in connecting to housing programs. Upon completion of treatment clients continue to receive support through an ongoing aftercare group.