Addiction is a family illness.
Designed by one of the world’s leading experts on family and addiction, Dr. Robert Ackerman, Renascent’s Essential Family Care Programs are specifically tailored to meet the distinct needs of children, parents, family members, significant others, loved ones, and friends affected by someone else’s addiction. It is not a requirement for participants to have a family member or loved one in a Renascent addiction treatment program. Renascent also welcomes Al-Anon members who seek additional support and education to strengthen their recovery and parenting skills.
Using the basic 12-step principles of recovery, Renascent’s Essential Family Care Programs allow people to recover independently or in partnership with a family member who is experiencing addiction.
Renascent’s Essential Family Care Programs:
- Provide treatment from trained counsellors who know firsthand what it’s like to be a family member of someone with the disease of addiction.
- Educate families about addiction and recovery through Introduction to Family Care, a four-session structured curriculum facilitated through group counselling. Alumni of this program attend a weekly alumni support group to stay connected with each other, counsellors, and resources.
- Works with children aged 7 to 13 and their caregivers through a four-day Children’s Bridge Program (formerly the Children’s Healthy Coping Skills Program). Upon completion, children and youth attend their own alumni support night, called Children’s Check-In, to reconnect with friends, counsellors, and recovery.
- Offer one-on-one counselling.
To register, please call 416-927-1202, ext. 4012 (Jennie Bell) or ext. 4002 (Heather Amisson).
Introduction to Family Care
Educate yourself about addiction and recovery.
Renascent’s Introduction to Family Care Program helps family members learn about addiction and recovery and how both can affect the family. This education is beneficial whether your loved one is in active addiction or early recovery.
Introduction to Family Care is a four-week program consisting of four education sessions, as well as suggested attendance to Al-Anon meetings.
Sessions consist of presentations by a Renascent family counsellor and professionally facilitated group discussions and one-on-one counselling. Program materials, including PowerPoints and videos, are shared online so that participants can review materials and complete homework exercises in advance, making the material more applicable to your family’s unique scenario.
Introduction to Family Care allows participants to learn about:
- addiction and the process of family recovery;
- programs that provide support for families;
- healthy communication and boundaries;
- realistic goal setting;
- self-care techniques.
Cost: Provided at no cost
To register, please call Jennie Bell at 416-927-1202, ext. 4012.
I completed Renascent’s Introduction to Family Care program in March of 2020 and have been attending the Alumni weekly meetings on a regular basis. I qualify for this program because I have a loved one who was in rehab at Renascent and opted to join the family program because my parents and I realized that everything we thought we were doing right was not working and we needed help. Our loved one had relapsed once early on, but it was short and he was back in recovery almost immediately. We didn’t understand that this could happen over and over again. Subsequent relapses were different – my sibling was using for a long time before he made the decision to get help and he relapsed again shortly after attending rehab for a third time. Needless to say, we were beside ourselves with worry, anxiety, and fear for his health and safety.
As the COVID pandemic was almost in full swing when he came out of rehab at Renascent, we were only able to complete the family program via a conference bridge and conducted all the meetings via phone. Despite these challenges, we learned in the family program. A lot. We learned that we were enabling, we learned that we weren’t the cause, we couldn’t cure him and we certainly couldn’t control his actions. It seems like such a simple statement now but it took the engagement and learning with the Renascent team to really understand what this meant for us. At the end of March we had the tools and information we needed to help ourselves but candidly, I did not have the full confidence of my convictions until I joined the weekly family alumni call. There were so many people who were in various phases of their journeys sharing many similar experiences. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me – to find a group of people who understood what I was going through and who only wanted to give and receive help. The shared understanding and perspectives gave me hope and I felt the support and encouragement of everyone in those meetings. But the best thing that happened to me as a result of these calls over the course of nine months was my own recovery. Not everyone will understand this at first (I certainly didn’t) but this is the path that you will follow to both heal yourself and allow your loved one to heal themselves. I learned to take care of myself first, to live my best life, and support my loved one from a distance. Everything I’ve learned and put into practice has only strengthened my relationship with my sibling. It’s not easy, it won’t happen overnight and it can be a long journey, but you will have many people from Renascent and from the alumni program who help you along the way, especially when you need it most. I am so grateful to Renascent and their amazing staff for all they do and how much they care. I will keep coming back!
Anonymous – Introduction to Family Care Alumni
Keeping Doors Open
Through the generosity of donors, Renascent makes the commitment to never turn anyone away due to lack of funds. Renascent receives no government support for its family programs, so we are entirely dependent on donations and the commitment of clients to pay what they can to keep the doors open for the next family in need. Visit our donation page for more information.
Children’s Bridge Program
(Formerly Children’s Healthy Coping Skills)
Take steps to break the cycle of addiction in your family.
The goal of Renascent’s Children’s Bridge Program is to provide children aged 7 to 13 with the information and tools they need to understand how addiction has affected their family, and develop the skills that will allow them to break the cycle of addiction in the family. The Children’s Bridge Program is currently replacing our Children’s Healthy Coping Skills program, which took place in person, allowing us to continue supporting children and parents/caregivers while we are offering our programs online.
At least one parent or caregiver (who is not in active addiction) from each family participates in our Adult Bridge Program alongside the children. Parents/caregivers learn in tandem with their children so that they can be actively supportive of the family’s recovery.
The Children’s Bridge Program takes place over four weeks, with an hour-long session each week. Children and parents/caregivers attend separately. Upon completion, children and youth attend their own alumni support night, called Children’s Check-In, to reconnect with friends, counsellors, and recovery.
Renascent’s Children’s Bridge Program helps children:
- learn about addiction and recovery in a safe and age-appropriate way;
- express their thoughts and feelings about themselves and their families;
- develop problem-solving and self-care skills.
Renascent’s Adult Bridge Program helps adults:
- understand how addiction has impacted their children;
- learn how to support their children’s and family’s recovery;
- strengthen their parenting/caregiving skills.
Children’s Check-In Alumni Night:
- happens on the first and third Monday of every month;
- allows kids to reconnect with friends and counsellors in a familiar recovery setting, engage in group sharing, learn coping strategies, and spend time having fun and building self-esteem.
Cost: Provided at no cost
To register for the Children’s Bridge Program, please call Cassandra Switzer at 416-927-1202, ext. 4562.
To register for the Adult Bridge Program, please call Heather Amisson at 416-927-1202, ext. 4002.
Children’s Healthy Coping Skills Retreat Program
At the Children’s Healthy Coping Skills Retreat Program (Retreat Program),children will receive specialized support for their needs, while parents/guardians participate in interactive, psychoeducational, therapy group sessions.
Retreat Goals and Objectives
At this four-day retreat, the goal is to provide families with an unforgettable experience filled with fun, adventure, laughter, and connection, while working through the challenges they experienced and developing the skills and understanding necessary to move forward and achieve true family recovery.
The Retreat Program aims to help parents develop a deeper understanding of addiction, promote healing, rebuild trust, and establish routine and safety while being mindful of their recovery needs.
Program Information and Requirements
- Children should be between the ages 7-13 (exceptions are made based on their assessment).
- A parent or guardian must be in attendance for all four days of the Program.
- Parents/guardians must abstain from substance use while attending the Program.
- Meals and snacks are provided during the course of the retreat. Please discuss any allergies or dietary restrictions during the registration process.
- Families will room in cabins on the campground during the course of the retreat.
- When scheduled program activities are not taking place, families are encouraged to enjoy all the campgrounds have to offer.
- Families are asked to participate to the best of their abilities, remain open to having fun and creating positive memories.
- Each child and parent/guardian must complete a questionnaire.
- A $100 registration deposit is required to hold each family’s spot. This will be returned upon attendance at the Program.
How to Register
Contact: Cassandra Switzer, BA., Family & Youth Counsellor, cswitzer@Renascent.ca 416-927-1202 x 4562
*Please note we are dedicated to supporting families and their recovery journey. Reach out to discuss any obstacles or barriers that may interfere with your family’s ability to attend the Children’s Healthy Coping Skills Retreat or provide the registration deposit.
Renascent family counsellors know firsthand what it’s like to be a family member of someone who experiences addiction. Their personal experience and clinical knowledge allow them to effectively move your recovery forward at your own pace.
One-on-one counselling helps you identify your needs and work towards potential solutions, and develop effective coping strategies.
Renascent offers one-on-one counselling for clients aged 7 and up, typically in one-hour sessions.
Renascent’s One-On-One Counselling allows you to:
- detach and refocus energy on yourself;
- understand, set and apply boundaries;
- develop a personal and family recovery plan.
Cost: $140 per session, $650 for five sessions
To register, please call 416-927-1202, ext. 4012 (Jennie Bell) or ext. 4002 (Heather Amisson).
Is Your Family Coping with Relapse?
People in early recovery may face challenges that could lead to relapse. This can be extremely painful for everyone involved.
However, with the right support, many people are able to turn brief relapses into learning experiences that create stronger foundations for long-term recovery.
Renascent’s Complete Care Program addresses relapse by offering clients Continuing Care, which is a six-month structured relapse prevention program, plus the Essential Family Care Programs, and lifelong access to Renascent’s alumni community.
If your loved one has attended an abstinence-based treatment program and feel that they would benefit from a relapse prevention program, they may be interested in participating in Renascent’s Continuing Care Program.
To register, please contact:
- Steve Holt, Renascent Madison Avenue Centre, 416-847-6466
- Stacey Kennedy, Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre, 905-655-8484
- Alex Motta, Outpatient Program, 416-927-1202, ext. 1211
Visit our Alumni Meetings page for information on all our Family Care Alumni Support Group Meetings.
Adult/Children's Bridge Program Registration Form
Complete this form to begin the process of registering for Renascent's Adult and Children's Bridge Programs. Submissions will be followed up with a phone call from a Renascent Family Care Team member.