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Metro Newsroom

Councilwoman Woolridge sees great potential for area families with START program grants

Tuesday October 24, 2006

Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
For More Information Contact:
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137/ 526-3622
For Immediate release:

Louisville – There are 1100 children in foster care programs in Jefferson County. The surprising factor in this number is 80 per cent of those children are there because substance abuse has played a role in their parent’s lives.

“It is a shocking number of children in need,” says Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3. “I am glad we are making the effort to lower that number and get families back together.”

Woolridge, the chairwoman of the Metro Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, was on hand when Governor Ernie Fletcher presented various agencies with $335,000 in grants for the START program to help intervene in families with substance abuse problems. The grants are being administered through the Department of Community Based Services.

“Prevention is the key here,” says Woolridge. “Anytime we can stop a problem before it starts it will not only benefit the individual but think of what kind of impact it could make on the innocent victims here, the children.”

START stands for Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team. It is a program that provides parenting education along with treatment as a way to help bring families back together.

Two Louisville churches, Midwest Church of Christ and Peace Presbyterian Church are partners along with local government and the Metro United Way. The churches will provide supervised visitation for the families.

The goal of the program is to not only address substance abuse but to keep children from re-entering foster care.

“Many people do not realize the great resources we have in our community,” says Woolridge. “Government, churches and concerned social workers can help these families and if we are lucky, a program like this can grow to help all of us.”

Neighborhood Places and the Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center will also assist with services in the program.

Louisville is one nine areas in the state where the START program grants will be used to expand prevention services. Many of the areas were selected not only because of need but because resources for treatment were already in operation.

Mary Woolridge (D) 3