Families Like Mine: Wisconsin Relative Caregivers for Children Conference Presentation on Complexities of Addiction

I had the honor of presenting The Complexities of Addiction:  Implications for Foster, Relative, and Adoptive Families at the  Families Like Mine conference, a statewide conference for relative caregivers who are caring for children both through child welfare and informally.  The event was organized by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families.

Here’s a description of the event:

Drawing from research, as well as using his own professional and lived experiences, David B. Bohl will offer a discussion on the link between separation from family and addiction and discuss challenges for families.

The impact of addiction extends beyond individuals affected by substance abuse.

Relative caregivers and those they care for can experience this in many ways, including:

  • confusion,
  • misunderstanding,
  • worry,
  • anger,
  • depression,
  • shame,
  • guilt,
  • anxiety, and
  • behavioral problems within the family.

In addition to those stresses, relative caregivers oftentimes face financial, health, housing, education, and work challenges that contribute to pressures beyond the complexities inherent in navigating new family relationships and roles.

This group will raise awareness of both risks and protective factors for dealing with these situations and experiences. Strategies for relative caregivers will be discussed, such as how to set and reinforce appropriate, healthy boundaries, and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), which teaches family and friends effective strategies for helping their loved one(s), supporting their families, and for feeling better themselves. The presentation will offer an open forum for relative caregivers to express their family challenges and ask questions.


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