The Family Effect

Objective

The Family Effect is an organization working to reduce addiction as a leading cause of family collapse and harm to children.  This goal is accomplished by building community engagement and philanthropic support for programs such as Serenity Place, which is operated by The Phoenix Center in Greenville, South Carolina. 

The Swinney family has felt the impact of alcohol and drug addiction, and is committed to bringing treatment to the hundreds of children and families suffering its effects in the Upstate.  The All-in Team Foundation is proud to be a part of this effort and will provide direct funding, fundraising support and time to The Family Effect and the women and children receiving treatment at Serenity Place.

Statement of Need

Hundreds of Upstate children and families are at put at risk each year because of addiction in the home.  At best, the children are developmentally delayed, emotionally harmed and unable to succeed in school.  At worst, they have suffered profound neglect or abuse.

A cornerstone program in the effort to prevent this type of family collapse and harm to children is Serenity Place, a residential treatment center for pregnant women, young mothers and their children. 

When a young mother and her children enter Serenity Place, the family has already been down a long and dangerous road.  The mother is struggling with addiction, and without help, she is about to lose her children to the foster care system.  For every five young mothers in the program, four have been sexually abused, and this abuse likely played a major role in the onset of the mother’s addiction.

The program at Serenity Place is intense, and focuses on three objectives for resident families.  First, the mother’s addiction and its root causes are explored and treated through 50 hours of group and individual counseling per week.

Second, the emotional trauma and developmental delays of the children are addressed through 40 hours of therapeutic child treatment per week, so the child can be prepared for success in school. 

Third, the healing mother must re-learn the skills of healthy parenting and independent household management, so that the mother’s healing also becomes the family’s chance at renewal. 

After four to six months of intensive work, the young family leaves Serenity Place and enters the program’s “aftercare” phase, with special supports designed to ensure a healthy and sustainable family life.  Eighty-four percent of enrolled women and children achieve their treatment goals while in the program, and 83% of discharged children attend mainstream schools.

Funding

The All In Team Foundation has worked with The Family Effect to establish a joint annual fund raising event with the long term goal of providing transitional housing for Serenity Place clients. In May, 2013 the foundation pledged $270,000 toward a “building fund” for new transitional housing for the Serenity Place mothers and children as they transition from the treatment program into the working world. Today, Mimi's House is finished. It holds two living spaces, each with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full kitchen. Since 2009 the Foundation has invested $500,000 into improving the lives of women and children at Serenity Place.