FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2017
Contact: Nadine Van Stone
PREMERA BLUE CROSS GRANTS FUNDING FOR SPOKANE PROGRAM CREATING FAMILY STABILITY AND KEEPING CHILDREN OUT OF FOSTER CARE
Spokane, WA – Premera Blue Cross has made a grant of $175,000 for the Rising Strong program, a partnership led by Catholic Charities and the Empire Health Foundation to serve families at risk of child removal due to parental alcohol and substance use disorder. Rising Strong will provide housing, substance treatment, educational and vocational supports, and other services for the entire family. It is based on proven models in Oregon and Los Angeles that have achieved 90 percent success in establishing healthy family stability and keeping children out of foster care. This generous support will help to accelerate the launch, currently targeted for October, 2017.
“What most people don’t understand yet is that addiction is a disease like cancer,” said Dr. Robert McCann, CEO of Catholic Charities Spokane. “In fact, the Surgeon General says our genes account for between 40 and 70 percent of our risk.”
Antony Chiang, President of the Empire Health Foundation, added “new data also shows a direct link between addiction and child welfare removals. Drug overdose deaths went up by 40% in Spokane County in 2016, and we saw an 11 percent rise in foster care placements – this is not a coincidence. Helping their parents recover is the best strategy to help these children avoid trauma.”