Program aims to keep moms sober, families together

NORFOLK, NEB. - A growing program in Norfolk works to keep moms sober and families together.

"It meant everything," said Kristie Petzold. "It was make-or-break, if my kids couldn't come then I wasn't coming." 

After battling addiction for 23 years, Petzold is able to talk about her experiences now that she is eight months sober.

"When she was doing it, she didn't really spend much time with us," said Kristie's daughter Jada Petzold. "But now she's spending time with us and it makes me and my little sister happy."

The mother of two girls has her life back on track due to the Mommy and Me Program. The Norfolk rehab program was designed to mend broken families.

"Parenting and jumping back into that role can be a huge challenge and a huge trigger," said case manager Lara Thomas. "So allowing them a safe and secure place to do that here at the Mommy and Me program, I believe, really reduces their risk of relapse." 

Thomas said some women come in without their kids.

"We work on a plan to get that child back into mom's care," said Thomas.

So far, that plan seems to be working. In just a year up and running, they've reunited 22 families.

"It was comforting knowing they were here with me and at the end of the day no matter what I was going through I was able to have them," said Petzold.

25 mothers have graduated from the Mommy and Me program, and they hope to get the word out so more moms know they can get clean and keep their children.

"It's never too late to ask for help or seek help," said Petzold.

Thomas says the program works closely with DHHS and legal groups to make sure the children are in a safe environment.

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