Care Forward Health is a residential treatment facility for adult men in Laguna, California. Opened by husband and wife team Lenny Flaum and Nicole Browne-Flaum after losing their only son—19 year old Taylor—to a heroin overdose in 2012, Care Forward has been in existence since 2013. Today, the organization operates two intimate southern Orange County residential treatment homes which together can accommodate up to 12 clients.
Accommodations and Food
Care Forward operates two houses—Taylor Browne House #1 and #2—both located within blocks of each other in a quiet residential neighborhood a mile from the beach. Both homes accommodate a maximum of six clients. They have three double-occupancy bedrooms and two shared bathrooms and both houses have a TV and DVD player in the living room. Though all bedrooms are shared, they are spacious and bright with high ceilings and luxury linens on the twin and full-sized beds.
Taylor Browne House #1 is a modern 4,500 square foot home with Laguna Beach views. The large living room has vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams and floor-to-ceiling windows allowing plenty of natural light and views of the hills beyond. There is a dramatic stone fireplace, hard-wood floors and comfortable over-stuffed leather furniture. The open floor plan features a breakfast nook, dining area and a fully stocked kitchen with new appliances and granite counter tops.
The second home, Taylor Brown House #2, is over 4,000 square feet with views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The Spanish-style stucco house has a red tiled roof, a stone front courtyard and a landscaped Zen garden for meditation and reflection. This home also boasts an open floor-plan with modern furnishings, a fireplace, a fully stocked kitchen with new appliances and a breakfast bar. Outside, a wrap-around deck overlooks the hillside and ocean.
To create routine and structure, Care Forward enforces a strict daily schedule. Clients wake up at daily at 6 am with lights-out at 10:30 pm every night. Cell phones and electronics are permitted for work purposes only. The houses have an on-site shared computer that clients can use for employment search or personal banking, but access is monitored and by permission only.
In the spirit of creating autonomy and self-sufficiency, clients must prepare their own breakfasts and dinner, though Care Forward does provide the food. Lunch is catered by a local restaurant which serves the meals in packaged boxes. Both Care Forward and the catering company accommodate any special dietary restrictions and requests. Caffeine and sugar are allowed but limited as Care Forward believes excessive use of either substance can both be harmful for a client’s health and also interfere with recovery.
Treatment and Staff
Care Forward’s individualized treatment program lasts for 30 days. Upon admission, residents are assigned to a therapist and counselor with whom they meet once a week for individual sessions throughout the course of the program. Clients receive day treatment off-site at a house owned by Care Forward, allowing a separation between the residents’ therapy and their living quarters.
Treatment is from 8 am to 4 pm Mondays through Saturdays. Each day begins with an hour-long process group where clients discuss their individual progress and goals. The remainder of the day includes a variety of CBT, DBT, anger management, recovery dynamics, medical education, leadership and Seeking Safety meetings. Although Care Forward does not incorporate the 12 steps into their therapy, clients attend nightly off-site AA/NA meetings Mondays through Saturdays. Clients may opt out of AA/NA meetings if they prefer to attend SMART meetings instead.
Visitors are not permitted for the initial 10 days. After this probationary stage, clients must have approval from staff for each guest and then both on and off-site visitation is limited to four hours. Upon return, residents are immediately given breathalyzers and drug tests.
Care Forward offers dual-diagnosis support and has a consulting psychiatrist who works with clients dealing with co-occurring disorders—including prescribing medication as needed. The group meetings and therapy are conducted by CADCs; other staff members include a licensed MFT, an MFT intern and two Registered Alcohol and Drug Trainees (RADTs).
Upon request, clients are transported to a local gym for evening workouts Mondays through Saturdays. Residents are also offered the options of group exercise with a personal trainer or yoga classes. Care Forward also provides weekly nutritional classes. Clients learn the bodily effects of drug and alcohol abuse as well as the importance of physical and nutritional self-care—including how to develop a healthy diet and exercise routine. Care Forward also offers art therapy and equine therapy upon request.
A family program includes weekly meetings between the client and their family led by a counselor. Residents from out of state connect with their loved ones using Skype or conference call lines for these meetings.
Care Forward’s aftercare connects a counselor with former clients with regular phone check-ins. Initially, the counselor calls every two weeks but as clients become more secure in their new sober lives, calls gradually taper off to an as-needed basis.
Care Forward is ideal for men seeking an intimate gender-specific recovery experience. For those looking for comprehensive treatment and high-end accommodations, these two hillside homes are a good balance of structure and comfort.
998 Glenneyre St.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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Photo courtesy of Care Forward