Denver – Babies born exposed to drugs will soon have a therapeutic early childhood center aimed exclusively at caring for their health and development challenges. The Baby Haven will open in the Spring of 2011 at the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s program called The Haven, a modified therapeutic community which provides substance abuse treatment for women, mothers and their infants. The new Baby Haven facility broke ground on Monday. The building will meet a growing need for more space, allowing this innovative program to become the first licensed and Qualistar rated early childhood education center for substance exposed children in the State of Colorado.
The mothers who enter the Haven are pregnant or have a young infant, are impoverished, and are frequently homeless. These mothers are referred to the Haven for treatment by Human Services, Colorado TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), primary care settings, the criminal justice system, community resources, family members, or through self referral. Without the Haven, many of these mothers would be in jail, have their babies born under guard, see their babies placed in foster care and lose the chance to bond with their babies during critical developmental years.
Through the program, young women receive substance abuse and mental health treatment, medical care, parenting education, and educational and vocational services. The program also restores the otherwise destroyed life of the mother and gives the child a chance in the world. The Haven House works to break the cycle of foster care, dependence on the child welfare system and the mother or child’s possible involvement in drugs and crime later in life.
“Together, we are celebrating as our dream becomes a reality,” said Deputy Executive Director of the Haven House, Julie Krow. She explained that one of the most influential ideas the mothers are taught is simple. “What we can’t do alone, we can do together.”
“The new Baby Haven is a perfect example, with supporters and people in the community coming together to help the Haven House expand the support given to the mothers and babies involved. The Haven House not only serves women, but it also serves families and future generations,” Krow said.
The new Baby Haven building, which will serve infants from birth to three years of age, will allow for an increase in the number of infants served from 14 to 32, increased staff so infants can receive more personalized attention, and greatly expanded educational services for infants and mothers. This expansion will allow the program to meet growing needs with areas such as parenting education for the women.
The new Baby Haven is a unique public/private collaboration that has been made possible with the support of the philanthropic community including 25 Colorado based foundations, the State of Colorado and public officials including the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, members of Denver City Council and members of the Colorado State Legislature, and many individual and corporate donors. It has also been made possible through the great support of the Friends of Haven and the Friends of Historic Logan.
Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the UC Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the UC Denver newsroom online.
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Contact: Jacque Montgomery 303.724.1528, Jacque.Montgomery@ucdenver.edu