FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2018
Pregnant, newly-parenting women in drug court get help from $30K grant
Friends of NH Drug Courts administer first-ever program
NO. HAVERHILL, N.H. – The Friends of the New Hampshire Drug Courts received a $30,000 grant to help drug court participants who are pregnant or have young children meet critical financial needs that could impact their recovery or their child’s safety.
The Fund for Pregnant and Newly-Parenting Women is the first program of its type in the New Hampshire drug court system and is believed to be the first implemented nationally. The funds came from an anonymous donor through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
“Mothers and pregnant woman struggling with substance use disorder need community support in addition to treatment. This donation will assist drug court participants in sustaining their recovery so that their children will have the best chance at thriving and staying healthy during childhood and throughout their lives,” stated Judge Tina Nadeau, chief justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court system.
Tym Rourke, who oversees substance use-related efforts at the NH Charitable Foundation, added, “Our donor believes deeply in the need to provide care and compassion for pregnant women and new mothers struggling with substance use. Efforts like those of the drug courts can play a pivotal role in helping moms and babies get the best start possible.”
An estimated 20 women currently enrolled in New Hampshire drug courts potentially could benefit from the program. The Friends awarded the first two grants this month to mothers who needed help to pay for housing and utilities.
“We are very thankful to this anonymous donor. Without these funds, women may not only fail to complete drug court, but their children may suffer ill effects as well,” stated Ed Rajsteter, president of the Friends of the NH Drug Courts. The Friends is the nation’s first statewide, non-profit agency formed to support all established and developing drug courts in New Hampshire.
To be eligible, a woman must be a current drug court participant who is either pregnant or has at least one child who is less than three years old. She must face a critical financial situation that could disrupt her participation in drug court or undermine her ability to safely care for herself, her unborn child or her young children.
The fund is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, according to Caroline Cooper, who has extensive experience working with drug courts and serves on the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals’ advisory committee.
The Friends of NH Drug Courts support drug courts by funding programs that help participants successfully complete their treatment programs and reconnect with family, community and the workplace. Drug courts currently operate in Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties. Additionally, Hillsborough County has drug courts in Manchester and Nashua. For more information, visit friendsofnhdrugcourts.org.