The Center for Great Expectations in Somerset, New Jersey is a rehab that caters to women, specifically mothers and their children. It’s the only licensed facility in New Jersey that offers treatment and housing to addicted, pregnant women who plan on carrying their baby to full term. Since maternal relationships are such a major focus here, Great Expectations also has the “Mommy and Me” program, which lets mothers and children to stay together during the recovery process.
Founder and President Peg Wright opened the Center for Great Expectations in 1998 to help all the unmarried teens giving birth in New Jersey each year. While it began as a rehab operating out of one home and had to turn away over 150 women due to a lack of space, it’s since raised $4.2 million and now operates out of two side-by-side homes.
Accommodations and Food
The Center for Great Expectations has 16 beds and 15 cribs; it has a childcare center as well, so that mothers can attend each day’s events without any distractions or worry. Each bedroom is small and quaint, with enough space for a bed, a crib and an attached bathroom (as well as ample storage space).
While it doesn’t have a gym on-site, Great Expectations does host rotating recreational classes; Zumba classes, for example, are taught on Mondays and Wednesdays. There’s a TV residents can watch during scheduled free time throughout the week, and the two houses have backyards where the children can play and adults can walk if they choose.
Clients have to cook their own meals, reportedly as a strategy to boost self-reliance and confidence. Great Expectations also gets frequent visits from nutritionists who provide recipes for guests and help them develop healthy eating habits. Finally, the staff is in charge of buying food every week, so residents won’t have to worry about trips to the grocery store.
Treatment and Staff
Most of the treatment philosophy at Great Expectations revolves around helping mothers become the women they want to be. This is achieved through individual therapy with a psychiatrist, group sessions, life skills workshops (covering communication skills, nutrition and meal planning, budgeting, time management, anger management and self-advocacy), health education and academic or vocational services at nearby colleges. Recreation generally focuses less on physical activity than on family time, and can include walks in the park or trips to the movies.
A typical day at Great Expectations means a 7 am wake-up followed by meditation, a one-on-one session and a group therapy session at 11 am. After that comes a nearby AA or NA meeting, lunch, another group meeting at 2 pm, a life skills group, time for recreation and dinner. The program lasts anywhere from six to nine months, and the first 30 to 45 days are a blackout, meaning no visitors, phone calls or leaving the facility. After that, residents are allowed visitors on the weekends, with approval. After six months, clients can get overnight passes to sleep at home with their families or significant others; no electronics are permitted during the program.
The staff at Great Expectations includes a program coordinator (who’s also licensed as a counselor), a primary counselor, a nurse (and parenting educator), a childcare coordinator, a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a clinical director. The staff-to-client ratio is two-to-one, excluding children.
Aside from being a program with uniquely in-depth childcare services for young mothers, Great Expectations also works with clients to secure housing and find other aftercare resources as needed. Finally, there are also plenty of legal case management services available when necessary, and staff can help schedule and transport clients to social services appointments.
All things considered, the Center for Great Expectations offers exceptional resources for mothers in need. Its Mommy and Me program allows mothers to recover with the peace of mind that their children are safe, which might otherwise prevent them from even seeking treatment. This is a safe haven for struggling women who may not have anywhere else to turn.
The Center for Great Expectations
19 Dellwood Ln
Somerset, NJ 08873
The Center for Great Expectations Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach The Center for Great Expectations by phone at (732) 247-7003. Find The Center for Great Expectations on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn
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