Katherine Lucero, Santa Clara Superior Judge
This family centered parenting program that includes the
parents and children does make a remarkable difference in
case outcomes. Children learn about addiction and its impact
on family systems along with their parents in an age and developmentally
appropriate manner. Meals are enjoyed together and families
learn to communicate about really difficult issues that make
healing possible. It is truly transforming and different than
anything else that we do in the Child Welfare system here
in Santa Clara County.
Katherine Lucero is a Santa Clara Superior
Stephanie Brown, Ph.D.
"WOW! Rosemary and her colleagues have surely set the
standard with this comprehensive, clear, step-by-step, in-depth
guide to family education about addiction. This encyclopedic
curriculum should be the starting point for beginners and
advanced group leaders, educators, counselors, and the criminal
justice system - anyone who wants to intervene positively
with adults and children to build healthy families. Celebrating
Families!™ is richly layered on a solid base of research,
practical experience and evaluation. This is a curriculum
Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., is Director of The
Addictions Institute, Menlo Park, Ca. Author of numerous
books including Treating the Alcoholic - A Development
Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D.
Celebrating Families! is an excellent family skills
training program for parents in early recovery. It draws
on the recovery principles as Alcoholics Anonymous, concepts
taught in the children of alcoholics/addicts and social
skills training literature. The program supports healing
and promotes safety for children of substance abusers. It
is being evaluated in the San Jose, CA to prevent child
abuse and neglect. We believe that it could be used to prepare
families in early recovery to be able to make the behavioral
changes needed later through my Strengthening Families Program.
Judge Leonard Edwards (ret.)
Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D., is Program developer
Strengthening Families Program, child psychologist, substance
abuse prevention researcher, and associate professor of
Health Promotion and Education at the University of Utah.
From 1998 to 2000, she was director of Center for Substance
Abuse Prevention (CSAP) in Washington, DC.
Our juvenile dependency court has been using Celebrating
Families! for our substance abusing parents for several
years with great success. It is the only program I can recall
in which parents consistently report their satisfaction and
that produces positive results for the family.
Focus Group Summaries (6 and 12 months)
What have you learned from this class? Overall,
participants agreed that love; respect and patience now
characterize their relationships with their children. They
feel that they are doing a better job parenting. They said
that they have learned how to give their children choices,
so that they develop their own decision-making skills.
Participants also learned how to respect their children's
feelings. For example one client said, "That it is fine
if my child is angry. It is better to understand how to
accept that anger instead of trying to diffuse it."
"I can't change the past, but I can make a better future."
They reported learning multiple skills on how to be better
parents; they had learned to be more humble and "appreciate
the little things," such as "kisses and hugs from
Has your life changed as a result of your participation
in this class? Participants feel very proud
that they now have the ability to teach their children the
new skills they learned. These classes have helped them
to think about and understand identity issues, i.e. they
learned that children have their own identity, and that
as individuals they had other identities in addition to
being a child's mother.
Other participants said they felt humbled, and because
of the program they are now able to accept who they are
- and can be a good role model for their children and family.
The greatest change was in their relationships with their
children, because they learned new skills such as how to
set limits and "not give them everything they want". The
parents also learned better ways to handle conflicts with
their children. One client shared that she can now talk
to her 11 year old child, where as before the classes she
could not. She said that in the past she was really not
there for him but now they can hold a conversation and comfortably
express their feelings to one another. She said, "I am
proud of him and he is proud of me." All clients agreed
that they have developed new relationships and have become
really close friends.