Phoenix Futures (2023a) offers residential support for pregnant women, single parents and couples, addressing substance use while caring for their children. They have been based in Sheffield for more than 20 years and accept referrals from across England and Wales.
The charity runs a national specialist family service that provides a unique family-friendly residential space for up to 12 families, including children up to 10 years old, to grow and develop in a safe environment (Phoenix Futures, 2023b). It has excellent links to the local maternity hospital and community midwife teams, and the specially designed treatment programme is focused on long-term recovery. One-to-one support and therapeutic group work are provided, alongside parenting guidance and intervention.
In the last 2 years, 100% of pregnant women accessing the service left successfully caring for their children (Phoenix Futures, 2023b). It is recommended that families arrive 5 weeks before their predicted birth date. This enables them to access safe support during pregnancy, so that families remain together with positive outcomes for both the parent and child.
Phoenix Futures works closely with a detoxification doctor to provide safe care and detox for women who are pregnant, in line with their pregnancy and choice around breastfeeding. Before and after birth, pregnant women are supported by local breastfeeding support services, antenatal care and parenting groups. If required, a doula referral is made for support both before and during birth. The service is also supported by weekly visits from a health visitor on the specialist health visiting team in Sheffield. This allows close joint working between health services to provide safe plans before and after birth. The birth plan agreed with professionals is followed, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the family and make sure that parents' preferences are heard and met.
The service has a fully staffed Ofsted registered nursery on-site, which is rated outstanding (Phoenix Futures, 2023b). Support is provided to all parents on parenting, child development and family focused activities, and the ‘triple P parenting programme’ is delivered (Phoenix Futures, 2023c). Up until, and after birth, pregnant mothers can engage with this programme to prepare them for parenting, positive structure and routine. There is also collaboration with other local charities, to enable parents to purchase everything that they require to prepare them to meet their child's needs after birth.
One of the recent graduates from the service, who was pregnant and left successfully caring for her child, left her feedback on the service.
‘Without Phoenix Futures' Family Service, it wouldn't be possible to get where I am today. I am so grateful for the life I have now, with hard work and determination, recovery is possible’.
For more than 20 years, Phoenix Futures has kept mothers safe and given babies the best possible start in life.