Past: WISE Coalition Meeting: Destigmatizing Parenting and Substance Use in Regard to Child Welfare

Nov 14, 2023

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This past WISE Coalition Meeting featured 3 speakers: Patti Heffernan, Rochelle Magee, and Molly Hanseter. We delved into the intricate relationship between child welfare, parenting, and substance use. Dr. Anderson, chair of WISE, opened the session, acknowledging National Native American Month and expressing gratitude for the year’s collective efforts.

Key Highlights

  1. Veterans Day Tribute: A moving video honoring Veterans Day set the tone, with veterans sharing their battles with PTSD and substance use, emphasizing the power of storytelling and music in healing.
  2. Personal Journeys: The meeting featured powerful personal narratives. Patti, shared her life story, revealing the struggles of navigating the foster care system and substance use. Rochelle discussed her challenging journey as a mother in recovery interfacing with child welfare, while Molly presented her path as a mother and individual in long-term recovery.
  3. Systemic Challenges and Solutions: Dr. Anderson provided insights into the organization’s background, addressing systemic challenges in child welfare and substance use recovery. The discussion highlighted the need for empathetic, informed approaches in supporting families affected by substance use disorders.
  4. Q&A Session: The meeting concluded with a Q&A session, where attendees engaged with the topics of systemic challenges and potential solutions in the child welfare system, especially for parents grappling with substance use disorders.


The meeting underscored the crucial need for compassionate support systems for biological parents within the child welfare system. By blending personal stories with data, the session illuminated the complexities of these issues, advocating for systemic changes to better support and understand affected families.

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