Building resilience in children of mothers who have Co-occurring Disorders and histories of Violence

Intervention model and implementation issues
  • Norma Finkelstein
  • Elke Rechberger
  • Lisa A. Russell
  • Nancy R. VanDeMark
  • Chanson D. Noether
  • Maura O'Keefe
  • Karen Gould
  • Susan Mockus
  • Melissa V. Rael
Special Issue


Historically, children of parents with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders and histories of violence/trauma have been overlooked in behavioral health treatment systems. The Women, Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Study (WCDVS) was a 5-year initiative funded by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that included a Children's Study that explored the treatment needs of children of women with these multiple disorders. This article describes the development of the Children's Study intervention that included clinical assessment, group intervention, and resource coordination/advocacy for children aged 5–10 to build resilience through increasing coping skills, improving interpersonal relationships, and helping coalesce positive identity and self-esteem. Innovative procedures, including the participation of consumer/survivor/recovering women and mothers, in the planning, implementation, and administrative applications of this intervention and study are also highlighted. It is recommended that programs begin to implement family-focused integrated treatment approaches that can potentially increase protective factors for children affected by parental mental illness, substance abuse, and violence.


Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Behavioral Health Mental Health Disorder Building Resilience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norma Finkelstein
    • 1
  • Elke Rechberger
    • 2
  • Lisa A. Russell
    • 3
  • Nancy R. VanDeMark
    • 4
  • Chanson D. Noether
    • 5
  • Maura O'Keefe
    • 6
  • Karen Gould
    • 7
  • Susan Mockus
    • 8
  • Melissa V. Rael
    • 9
  1. 1.Institute for Health and RecoveryCambridge
  2. 2.Systems Change Center, PROTOTYPESCulver City
  3. 3.ETR AssociatesScotts Valley
  4. 4.Arapahoe House, IncThorton
  5. 5.Analysis Division, Policy Research AssociatesDelmar
  6. 6.the School of Social Work at the University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  7. 7.WELL Child Project at Institute for Health and RecoveryCambridge
  8. 8.TAMAR Program, BaltimoreHunt Valley
  9. 9.SAMHSA/Center for Substance Abuse TreatmentRockville

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