What is PITCH 4 KIDZ? A Brief Programming History & Overview
The Evolution of PITCH 4 KIDZ:
PITCH 4 KIDZ Programming was originally based on the Children’s Program Kit curriculum, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA). The work of Jerry Moe from the Children’s Program at the Betty Ford Center has also inspired PITCH 4 KIDZ programming due to his clinical work and his special relationship with the Beck Family after the tragic addiction and eventual passing of Rodney Beck in 2007 from an overdose.
Stacey Beck, LAC LASAC Executive Director, and Shellie Ruge, LAC Executive Program Director have personal experiences with addiction in their families that have added to their perspective of the trauma effects of chronic addiction in families. Stacey and Shellie realized from careful research and personal experience that prevention programs of “Just Say No,” are not working because they are not addressing the chronic daily trauma experiences addicted families face. Therefore, they have created additional interventions specifically designed for the PITCH program, that include psycho-educational concepts designed for resilience building and trauma prevention. Additional therapeutic approaches and modalities have also been incorporated such as narrative, solution-focused, CBT, DBT, EMDR, and musical therapies. All staff members are oriented to the Children’s Program Kit Curriculum and trained in the PITCH 4 KIDZ interventions and protocols.
5 Core Concepts of Resilience
PITCH 4 KIDZ programming encompass five focal areas to address resilience building in response to trauma: Knowledge, Feelings (identification and expression), Safety, Coping Skills, and Problem Solving. These five focal areas have been designed to increase resilience in children growing up in families struggling with the disease of addiction.
The program is designed to build resilience in children by learning about addiction and separating their loved one from the disease. They learn how to identify and express emotions, identify safe people they can talk to, increase coping skills, and problem-solve. The group dynamic creates a safe environment for sharing feelings and learning new coping skills.
And most importantly, children learn in this group process that they are not alone. By learning these skills, fostering honest communication, and building a support system, shameful feelings are reduced and children are empowered. And the best part is that these life skills are introduced in a fun, child-friendly, and developmentally appropriate way through art, games, role-play, music, movies, and literature!
Ages & Cultural Considerations:
PITCH 4 KIDZ provides multiple education and support programs for “children of all ages” who currently have or previously have had a parent or other family member struggling with a substance use disorder or other mental health issue. Cultural issues are also considered with special programming for military and 1st responder families, and can be adapted to honor the perspectives of multiple systemic and family cultures. Our scholarship program is also available to make the program available to all children.
Pre-Requisites to participation in ALL PITCH 4 KIDZ programs are:
- Children must be the appropriate age for the program.
- A minimum of 30 days or currently participating in a treatment program is required for parent/caregiver participation. (The addicted parent is not required to attend, another family member may participate with child)
- All participants will remain free of mood-altering chemicals for the program’s duration.
- Registration is required for all PITCH 4 KIDZ programming.
Please read about each PITCH 4 KIDZ program in more detail under “Featured Programs.” Contact the PITCH 4 KIDZ staff to inquire about, or register for any PITCH 4 KIDZ programs!