We fall so that we can pick ourselves back up again. These words are spoken often to people throughout their life and while they can be so easily dismissed in times of laughter and fun, in times of hardship and strain these words can provide the motivation to keep moving forward in the right direction. This is also true for the individuals at Willamette Family’s Carlton House – to learn from their past mistakes and change the course of their lives and to become good fathers. These are men who learned to survive in a different way, fathers who for the first time are learning how to become fathers, as this was not something they experienced growing up. At the same time, these fathers are taking the time to show their children how to pick themselves up and how to take that next step – the same way they’re learning. This is an opportunity for these fathers who have had little to no involvement with their families to finally connect with their children and to take on a role to be a part of their lives.

These are the things that Parenting Coaches at Willamette Family work with on a daily basis – to ensure that fathers get time with their children while they are in treatment. Through parenting classes such as the Nurturing Parenting Program, which teaches parents to take care of themselves so they can take care of their children, and the Circle of Security, which teaches parents how to build relationships with their child, these men learn how to become responsible caring fathers. Staff work to help these fathers move through guilt and be there for their kids. Family groups are also provided as a space for fathers to reconnect with their children and their partner. Each of these fathers are given the opportunity to learn a new way of being in the world as a sober and active father to their children.

These fathers are taking a stand with an attitude that says, “The pain stops with me.” They are taking these classes and the responsibility to stop the pain from passing on to their child. If you’re interested in learning more about our Dad’s Program, please watch our most recent completed video. You can access this video by visiting our website: or on the following link:

A first citizen among us:

I adopted my daughter when she was eight years old and she already had a lot of baggage from her childhood. A lot of kids from challenging backgrounds will act out before they become teenagers; she experienced things I never would have wished for her. When she was home, I would try to get her into treatment appointments at various places, but we only got to the first evaluation and then she’d be gone.

One day, someone working with her in rehab offered her a scholarship to attend Willamette Family Treatment Services. I didn’t trust the program, not because of Willamette Family, but because of her incapability of staying away from the drug scene. I had been too trusting in the past when she told me she wasn’t doing drugs, so I watched her recovery with a jaundiced eye.

I really think Willamette Family was the catalyst in her recovery and I am so grateful. It was very hard for her, but the consistency, counseling, and meeting other people in the same boat who also wanted to make changes played into her decision to stick with it. With Willamette Family’s help she took responsibility and we came back into each other’s lives.

She’s been sober for almost five years and the difference in her is amazing. There’s a lot of work still ahead of her, but now I can encourage her and she’ll get through it. That has been such a joy as a mother. Today, she’s a student at Lane Community college studying hospitality. She even started her own non-profit making clothing for children in disadvantaged countries…I’m going over there today and she’s going to show me the latest things she’s finished.”

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