Substance Recovery Program for Incarcerated Mothers Expands to Berks County

February 07, 2022

Berks County, PA – Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that is committed to changing the world through family, announced today the expansion of the Recovering Mothers with Newborns (ReNew) program to Berks County.

ReNew was created in response to the overdose epidemic in Pennsylvania and its impact on children and families. The program, initially offered in Lancaster County, provides specialized case management and wraparound support services for pregnant and parenting women with a history of substance use, as well as incarcerated mothers, empowering them to overcome systemic barriers and helping them parent their children.

“We are thrilled to expand ReNew to Berks County so more women can access resources that can help them fight addiction,” said Jamie Minick, assistant branch director of Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania has seen a 17.2-percent increase in overdose deaths. Now, more than ever, life-saving programs like ReNew are needed.”

ReNew’s expansion will allow Bethany to serve 15 women at a time in Berks County with plans to expand capacity after the initial launch. The expansion of the ReNew program is funded by a $150,000 grant from Vital Strategies, a global health organization working to combat the overdose crisis by strengthening and scaling up evidence-based, data-driven policies and interventions.

“Programs like ReNew that are grounded in a non-punitive approach are essential to any overdose prevention strategy,” said Tracy Pugh, Senior Technical Advisor at Vital Strategies. “Too often, pregnant persons who use drugs are punished and isolated to the detriment of their health. A harm reduction approach is necessary to supporting all pregnant and postpartum persons on their continuum of use and to keeping families together.”

Since the establishment of the ReNew program in 2019, 70 percent of the mothers who have entered the program have successfully graduated. The goal of ReNew is to be part of the solution to addressing the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, to cultivate the health and wellness of families in the community, and to keep children from unnecessarily entering the foster care system.

To learn more about the ReNew Program in Berks County, visit Bethany.org/Reading or call (484) 335-2705.

About Bethany Christian Services Bethany is an international Christian nonprofit changing the world through family. With a presence in more than 30 states and in five countries, Bethany partners with churches and communities to strengthen and preserve families, support refugees and immigrants fleeing danger, and find safe, loving families for children who need them. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year, because we believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.