Portage is a Canadian non-profit established in 1970 that has developed specialized drug rehabilitation programs for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and mothers with children, among others. It operates nine addiction treatment programs in Atlantic Canada, Québec and Ontario.
Portage’s Mother and Child Program is designed to treat pregnant women and mothers with young children who are battling addiction. Since some women don’t get into treatment because they fear losing custody of their children, this facility allows moms to bring their children with them so they can get the help they need. Like all the Portage programs, care is based on the therapeutic community approach and includes evidence-based practices, the 12 steps and holistic methods.
Accommodations and Food
The Portage Mother and Child Program is an apartment building in Montréal’s Little Burgundy neighborhood with a 20-bed capacity. Clients are housed in one or two-bedroom furnished apartments. Since some of the women have their children, housing accommodations vary. Age-appropriate beds are provided for the children. There are common rooms on each floor with TVs, toys and comfy couches for the clients and children to lounge. There is also an on-site childcare center where children attend therapeutic and educational daycare while their moms are in treatment.
Each unit has a kitchenette and clients can purchase and prepare their own food. There is also a cafeteria and dining room where three meals a day are served. Since most clients qualify for government assistance, they are eligible to receive some groceries and household items through a local food pantry.
Treatment and Staff
The Mother and Child Program generally lasts from six to eight months, depending on the needs of the client. Detox is not offered but referrals can be made if necessary. For those with co-occurring disorders, there is a nurse available 24 hours a day for medication management.
The program is broken into five phases, with each level containing core life skill competencies that must be mastered to progress. In keeping with the therapeutic community model, there is a strong emphasis on a positive peer culture environment, with the senior residents serving as peer counselors. The women adhere to a strict daily schedule that includes caring for her kids, therapeutic groups and activities, family bonding time and on-site meetings. Daily group and weekly individual therapy employs CBT, DBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). The clients become familiar with AA and attend several on-site meetings a week.
After clients have been at Portage for at least four weeks, family members can come for a six-hour visit. Following the first visit, clients can leave the facility with their family every three weeks for 12 and 48-hour passes, first accompanied by a senior resident for peer support and then on their own. The family visit only happens with the approval of the resident’s case worker. There are fewer restrictions for the children. Grandparents and fathers who wish to take a child for a visit just have to notify the administration 24 hours in advance.
The staff members of The Portage Mother and Child Program are a multi disciplinary team of MDs, RNs and clinical behavioral health counselors.
Clients of The Portage Mother and Child Program have access to 10 sober living apartments upon completion of the residential program. These units are shared with other graduates and have communal kitchens and living rooms. The structure empowers tenants to take responsibility for the day-to-day management of their living environment and the proper functioning of the community, with support from Portage counselors. The apartments are available for a period of six months to two years.
There are family counseling services incorporated into each clients treatment program. Aftercare support is provided for up to two years, through regular communication and meetings with alumni counselors and the alumni community.
For those who need even more support, Portage offers Back in Touch sessions, where clients currently in aftercare can return to Portage for a short period.
The Portage Mother and Child Program gives financially-challenged women a chance to rebuild their lives and learn the life skills they need to provide for themselves and their family. This program is part of the larger Portage network, which allows clients access to a variety of healthcare professionals and aftercare services. This is an affordable choice for women who are serious about changing their lives. For the safety of the clients and their children, the exact location of the program is confidential.
Portage Montréal Mother and Child Program Location
Montréal, Québec H3J 1V8
Portage Montréal Mother and Child Program Cost
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