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The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation announced that its renowned Children’s Program, launched three decades ago in California, has expanded to Minnesota, offering new services for kids ages 7 to 12 whose family has been affected by addiction. Former First Lady Betty Ford personally helped launch the Children’s Program in 1983 at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. The program, which also has a site in Aurora, Colorado, became a widely respected and signature offering that filled a crucial gap in the addiction care continuum.

Through activities, stories, and sharing led by trained counselors, participants in the Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program learn to identify and express their feelings, develop coping and self-care skills, deepen communication with their parent or adult caregiver, and recognize they are not alone in navigating the challenges of growing up with an addicted family member. Just as importantly, they get the opportunity to play games, enjoy recreational activities, de-stress, and be themselves.

Children’s Program sessions are held at Hazelden Betty Ford Minnesota campuses in both Center City and Plymouth. The four-day sessions are available to children who have family members in treatment at Hazelden Betty Ford facilities or elsewhere, and also to children whose loved ones are not currently or perhaps have never been to treatment. In California, Colorado, and other select locations, the Children’s Program also works with school districts to deliver the same quality counseling on school campuses that is offered at Hazelden Betty Ford’s own sites. The voluntary programs are led by Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program counselors and are scheduled during school days.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation’s leading non-profit provider organization of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources, and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.

This was reported by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation on August 22, 2019. 

Contact information: Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Post Office Box 11, Center City, Minnesota 55012; 844-617-9196; Website: 

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