HUNTINGTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — A community-wide effort is currently forming to help repair drug affected families in the Huntington community.
An organization called Healthy Connections Coalition is working to created a community driven childcare facility that focuses on healing children along with their family members.
“At the end of the day, substance use and addiction is a community problem. This is a community response to that,” Todd Davies said.
Davies is the director of research development and translation for the Healthy Connection Coalition. He said about 20 percent of babies born in Huntington have been exposed to some kind of drugs.
“A child develops cognitive ability between zero and three years. That is the most critical spot and that is the spot where we are losing them,” Davies said.
The coalition, which is made up of a vast variety of backgrounds, is stepping up to change the way we think about caring for these children.
“This is about best practice. This is about developing the best possible therapies for families not only for us in our communities, but worldwide,” Davies said.
The group’s goal is to create a childcare facility in the Enterprise Building in Huntington, which housed a daycare for years on the West End. The program will care for babies exposed to drugs from birth to the time they step into kindergarten.
“We want to provide specialized training for these children and their families,” Davies said.
The service would also offer therapy for relatives, support groups and courses on the best ways to fully recover as a family.
The program would allow Marshall University students to practice their skills and let community members learn how they can help fight against the epidemic.
The Healthy Connections Coalition is moving forward with its efforts by applying for several grants. Members of the coalition have several upcoming meetings to move forward.
Eyewitness News will keep you updated on the progress of the project.