I have heard about POCAR what is is?
POCAR is short for Parenting Our Children Addressing Risk and is open to any woman who uses drugs and/or alcohol and who has social services involvement with their children or with children they care for. The POCAR programme combines treatment for substance misuse with a parenting programme and runs for 16 weeks alongside 1:1 key work.
What happens on the programme?
We know that caring for a family can be tough and that these demands can feel even greater if you are caring for children alone. POCAR has been specially designed with Mums and carers in mind and its aim is to support you to reduce the risks to the family caused by drugs and alcohol use.
The programme has a strong focus on parenting and supports you to provide a safe and stimulating home life for any children you are caring for while reducing your use of drugs or alcohol. Mums and carers who come to POCAR are in similar situations. Some still have children at home with them but others are in kinship care or foster care while they re focus on their recovery and get things back on track. Part of the programme is delivered in a group setting where you will meet other Mums and carers like you.
Listen to what other women have to say about the programme
“If you’ve had an addiction people treat you like you always feel like your treated like the underdog. Here it doesn’t feel like that at all. I don’t feel uncomfortable knowing that I’ve had a really bad drink problem in the past cos no-one is judging me It’s a really comfortable safe place – the staff don’t judge me – no-one judges me… The shame goes away.”
“It gives you routine and structure. Its takes you away even for a little bit and helps you think”
“Initially there was that barrier you don’t really know what Oasis is. I think they need to have a buddy or peer mentor at the beginning to say what’s going to happen. Because it’s a rolling programme it can take a while to settle in. I didn’t really know what was happening. I was traumatised so things didn’t go in”
“It takes a while to find your feet. Some people get it in the first weeks some people in 8 months”
The group work programme runs alongside key work. This means you have a dedicated worker to support you while you are on the programme. Her role is to support you to put in place the changes your social worker has described. Your key worker knows that making these sorts of changes is hard and she wants what is best for you and your children. She will always be honest with you and there may be times when this means being tough on the choices you are making.
Listen to what other mums have said about their key workers
“One of them really pushed me… but she was the only one who got tears out of me – she made me angry and she made me sad and I said why are you doing this to me and she said because I care and I thought oh my god and that really done me – she genuinely cared about me…”
“I would have bailed but she was quite persistent and just like being there… she gave me little pushes – even if she just sat there for the whole hour.”
“I’ve had three different key workers – they’ve all had different effects on me”
“They know when you are doing well – it’s nice when they say it ‘cos they know us really well.”
“We get treated really well here. By the key workers. Yes like equals.”