Leah came to the Family Learning Center in 2017. While dealing with substance abuse, she found herself increasingly disconnected from her children, particularly her 3-year-old daughter. While receiving treatment at DACCO, she had the opportunity to participate in Rainbow Playgroups: weekly structured visitation opportunities that help moms reestablish positive, nurturing bonds with their children, followed by weekly reflections with trained facilitators. Through these playgroups, not only was Leah able to truly reconnect with her children, she learned important lessons about parenting with patience, tolerance, and reasonable expectations.
Today, Leah is out of treatment and well on the road to recovery, and she’s fully reunited with her family. She happily credits the staff at FLC for helping her achieve a new lease on life. “They can help anybody,” she says. “Everyone is so welcoming, loving, and nonjudgmental. And best of all: they make it fun.”
While the Gasparilla Pirate Festival is a time a fun and celebration for many in the Tampa area, for Tonya, the event brings back memories of a darker time in her life. Prior to seeking treatment at FLC and DACCO, she says Gasparilla would typically be a time when she would get drunk with her boyfriend and make poor choices. With the help of FLC’s Nurturing Parenting course, she came to realize there was a better way to celebrate–one that allowed her to better bond with her young son.
This year, Tonya spent the Gasparilla weekend doing fun activities with her son, drawing pirate mustaches and eye patches on their faces and connecting with her fellow FLC moms. In doing so, she transformed what would normally be a triggering time into a new, positive tradition, all while continuing to strengthen her connection with her son.