Help for Children with Addicted Parents

The Betty Ford Center Children's Program, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, offers help and support for girls and boys with parents struggling from alcohol or drug addiction.

Support Programs for Children of Addicts

For children who grow up in a family with addicts, home—where they should feel safe and protected—becomes a place of unpredictable behavior, conflict, and broken promises.

That's why the Betty Ford Center created the Children's Program. Since its inception in 1983, the Children's Program has helped thousands of kids and families cope with the challenges they face. No family is ever turned away from the Children's Program due to inability to pay.

The 3- or 4-day sessions teach kids about addiction through age-appropriate activities so they realize that the disease is not their fault, they are not alone and they are not to blame. Children talk openly in a safe, supportive environment and are encouraged to express their feelings about this cunning, baffling disease. There are three Betty Ford Center Children's Program locations: Denver, Dallas and Rancho Mirage, California.

What is the Children's Program like?
Under the guidance of licensed counselors, children 7-12 years old learn to identify and express their feelings, develop self-care skills, and deepen communication with parents and loved ones.

The small-group sessions include:

  • Role-play exercises
  • Games
  • Artwork
  • Other fun activities

Parents/caregivers join their children for a portion of the program to work on:

  • Opening the lines of communication
  • Sharing feelings and concerns with each other
  • Healing the hurt in their relationships

The Betty Ford Center Children's Program teams with local drug courts to unify families

For many families affected by the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, a final solution comes through the court system. A family integrated treatment (FIT) court, or family drug court, provides families with hope for recovery and a chance at healthy family life. Watch a short video on how the Betty Ford Center Children's Program works in tandem with drug courts to rebuild families.

Betty Ford Center Children's Program helps Jeremiah G's family learn to trust and live again

As a paramedic and firefighter for over a decade, Jeremiah G. was the one doing the rescuing. However, an opioid addiction swapped his role from lifesaver to patient. Learn more about Jeremiah and his family's story and the role the Betty Ford Center Children's Program played in their recovery.

Denver-Area Youth Overcomes a Parent's Addictions and Follows NFL Dreams

Kids growing up in homes where addiction has been a problem often walk on egg shells. But after attending the Betty Ford Center Children's Program, children learn they don’t have to hide in the shadows. Here is the story of one Denver-area teen who overcame a parent's addiction and is now following big NFL dreams.

Children learn how to overcome the negative impact of addiction in the family

Addiction not only haunts those caught in its trap but the family as well—especially when kids are involved. This video illustrates not only how children are impacted by this disease but also how they can overcome its negative repercussions with this effective program.

Understanding the Children's Program

Jerry Moe describes the unique and powerful Children's Program at the Betty Ford Center in California, Texas, and Colorado. In the Children's Program, boys and girls learn about alcoholism and drug abuse and how to separate the person they love from the disease that consumes them.

Al-Anon Family Groups Interview with Jerry Moe

In this Al-Anon Family Groups video and podcast, listen to Jerry Moe speak about things children need to recover from a parent's alcoholism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alcoholism and drug addiction are family diseases, so we treat the whole family, including the kids.


Program Dates

We help 7 to 12-year-old children from families hurt by addiction.



No child is turned away for lack of funds.

Registration Info

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Reporters looking for Children's Program videos, bios, and photos, please visit the Children's Program Press Kit page.