The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has been talking about establishing a safe secure place where pregnant women and women with young kids could recover from substance abuse and, when the board met on Thursday, Feb. 1, the commissioners voted unanimously to proceed with the creation of a Women With Children Recovery Center at Gibson Park in High Point.

County officials called the move by the board “a response to the pressing need for enhanced behavioral healthcare and substance use services” in the county.

 Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion has been leading a subcommittee that includes Commissioners Frankie Jones, Jr. and Alan Perdue, That subcommittee  has been exploring the initiative that’s meant to help troubled pregnant women and women with children across Guilford County.

The Guilford County Board of County Commissioners has allocated $3 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) money  to the creation of recovery housing that offers a program specifically designed to help this group of women with substance abuse history.

According to a county summary of the results of a January 2022 Guilford County Community Survey, “Behavioral Healthcare and Substance Use became a key focus for investing ARPA dollars, ranking among the top five priorities. The absence of residential treatment programs for pregnant and parenting women within Guilford County amplifies the need for the creation of a program that addresses this gap, ensuring families stay connected and making it easier for individuals to access support by reducing any disruptions in their personal networks and removing transportation obstacles.”

Cashion is one of the commissioners who’s been really pushing hard for the county to take on the project.

 She said after the decision that  the board has “seen a clear demand for this program, highlighted by the increase in children entering foster care and seeking in-home services due to substance misuse in 2022,””

She also called this an “urgent need” in Guilford County, and added that the subcommittee “assessed similar programs” and “crunched the numbers” before deciding  on the High Point site.

The county is working with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Division of Health Service Regulation on the initiative.

The proposed services include 24-hour residential substance abuse recovery specifically tailored for pregnant women and women with children ages 12 and under.

The program may be able to serve about 30 women at a time.