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Women in Recovery (WIR), the Family & Children’s Services program that provides incarceration diversion opportunities for women with a history of substance abuse, just got an infusion of support from the state of Oklahoma. The WIR program, lauded for its long-term success in empowering women to avoid the negative effects of substance abuse as well as prison, will receive over $3 million from the state of Oklahoma. 

The money comes directly from the United States Department of Treasury, through the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) program. The project grant is over $3 million dollars, with an additional half-million dollars for program evaluation.

According to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellin, “Over the past few decades, our society has rightly come to see substance use disorder for what it is – a disease from which millions of Americans across all walks of life suffer. If we can help people recover and get back on their feet without incarceration, that is something we should do. Our Administration is committed to ending this epidemic of substance use disorder in every way possible, including through innovative programs like this one.”

Supporting families through resources in recovery

Women in Recovery is an intensive, three-phase program that addresses multiple aspects of substance abuse, mental health challenges, and trauma history. The program lasts 18 months, and provides the women involved with outpatient care to prevent recidivism, encourage family reunification, and support recovery from substance abuse. 

According to Gail Lapidus, CEO of Family & Children’s Services, “We are so proud of the impact the Women in Recovery program has made on the lives of women who have participated in the program. Our 34th class of graduates just completed the program, joining the ranks of 586 other women who have recovered from substance abuse, trauma and found jobs, impacting the lives of 2,057 children.”

Women in Recovery’s grant followed a competitive process through which social support programs across the country can apply, by demonstrating their effectiveness in using evidence-informed best practices to empower underserved communities. The money will be used to provide support to even more women across Oklahoma who are facing hardships related to substance abuse and incarceration. 

“The meaningful work of the Women in Recovery (WIR) program is a shining example of what we hoped the Pay for Success Act would accomplish in the state of Oklahoma,” said Senator Roger Thompson, who authored House Bill 2670 or the Pay for Success Act.

“It is exciting to see the U.S. Treasury Department provide additional resources to support substance abuse treatment for women who otherwise would be incarcerated. The work of innovative programs like Women in Recovery is keeping families together and shaping the future of participants and their families,” Sen. Thompson added.

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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