Mothers + Preschool Children at Serenity Place

Serenity Place is a residential treatment center for pregnant women, young mothers and their preschool-age children.  Each year, about 120 mothers and children find hope, healing and transformation in the program, with each family living on-site for about six months.  Up to 48 women and children are in treatment at Serenity Place at any given time.

When a young mother and her children enter Serenity Place, the family has already been down a long and dangerous road.  The mother is struggling with addiction, and without help, she is just about to lose her children to the foster care system...possibly forever.

She’s also likely to be escaping from sexual abuse.  For every five young mothers that come to us for help, four have been sexually abused, and this abuse often plays a role in the onset of the mother’s addiction.

The children have suffered through no fault of their own, and often come to us traumatized and confused.  Their daily lives have veered from chaos to deadening neglect, without rhyme or reason.  They are often delayed on several developmental levels and emotionally unable to connect.  Without help, they will be unprepared for any kind of classroom environment.  

An outstanding clinical program

The program at Serenity Place is focused and intense, and is part of an ongoing collaboration with nationally-renowned professionals such as Jeffrey M. Georgi (M.Div., M.A.H., LCAS, LPC, CGP) and Dr. Karen O’Donnell, both with Duke University Medical Center. 

The clinical staff works 24/7 towards three objectives for all client families;

1.  Heal the mother's addiction.  A highly trained clinical staff develops an evidence-based treatment plan for each mother as she enters the program.  The women work through 50Photograph by Polly Gaillard hours of individual and group counseling per week.  Daily topics include trauma & abuse counseling, medication education, daily planning, dynamics of addiction, healthy eating, health education, parent-child bonding, fitness, and life skills application.

2.  Accelerate the child's development.  Social and developmental delays are tested and addressed through 40 hours of therapeutic child treatment per week, so that they can be prepared for success in first grade.  Most of our children experience their first reliable, daily routines under the care of our specialists.

3.  Build long-term skills for family strength and self-sufficiency.  Many of our mothers have never had appropriate role models for parenting.  Fortunately, good parenting is a teachable skill.  Our mothers learn the components of healthy parenting and independent household management, so that the mother’s healing also becomes the family’s chance at long-term self-sufficiency and success. 

After four to six months of intensive work, the young family leaves Serenity Place and enters the program’s aftercare phase.  New mentors, community connections and supports are designed to ensure a soft landing back in the real world and healthy, sustainable family life.

In addition to the treatment of residential mothers and their children, Serenity Place also provides therapeutic treatment to children of other community families that have been identified as Photograph by Polly Gaillardhigh-risk.   In these cases, the parent(s) are typically being treated in an outpatient program at The Phoenix Center of Greenville, while Serenity Place works to help the young child through the specific developmental problems common among children who live with addiction.

It's all part of our mission to identify families at risk of collapse through addiction, and work to bring healing and self-sufficiency back into their lives...permanently.  And when our community saves a family from collapse, a cycle that diminishes our society is broken.  We all benefit from lower public costs and healthier social bonds for generations into the future.

Investment Return to the Community

84% of our women and children achieve their treatment goals before leaving the program

86% of our children are still living with their families one year after discharge

83% of our children are able to attend mainstream public schooling after discharge

We invite you to get involved

Would you like to take a quick, no-obligation tour of Serenity Place?  We think you'll be impressed. 

Our children and mothers need you for reading time, art projects and more.  We invite you to learn about volunteer opportunities at Serenity Place.