Valley mom helping other families after DCS intervention

Posted at 6:44 PM, Nov 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 08:10:13-05

A Valley mom credits an Arizona Department of Child Safety intervention program with getting her off drugs and making a better life for her daughter.

Jessie Johnson just celebrated Chasity's birthday, relieved the 8-year-old won't remember her rough start in life.

Johnson relapsed on drugs as she struggled with the stress of being a new mom.

DCS put Chasity in foster care when she was just 3 months old, and they urged Johnson to go to the Arizona Families F.I.R.S.T. program.

After months of intensive group sessions, therapy and parenting lessons, Johnson was able to get clean and regain custody. 

She now helps other drug-using parents make behavioral changes at Terros, which provides Families F.I.R.S.T. services in several Arizona counties. DCS refers 8,500 people to Terros for the program every year.

Administrators say many parents refuse the free help, but nearly everyone who completes the program successfully reunites with their kids.

For more information about the program, check out the DCS  and Terros websites.