Who Takes Care Of My Kids When I Go To Rehab?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Seeking help for an addiction as a parent often also involves asking for childcare help. Parents may find that family members and other loved ones are willing to look after their kids, but other options exist if this isn’t possible.

Who Takes Care Of My Kids When I Go To Rehab?

Parents sometimes delay seeking addiction treatment because they have children at home.

However, family members and other loved ones may be happy to help take care of your kids so that you can get on the path to recovery.

Immediate family members, such as spouses or siblings, are usually the first people to ask, while extended family members may also be an option.

When this is not feasible, people often rely on trusted members of their social circle, such as a member from church, a close friend, or a neighbor, for temporary childcare.

Other childcare options exist for people having a hard time finding someone they know to take care of their kids.

How To Find Childcare Support During Addiction Treatment

If you are seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction but have children at home, the easiest and best option may be to leave your children in your spouse’s care.

This is likely an ideal situation even if you are separated from your spouse. Your parents and siblings or spouse’s siblings may be other good options.

If you are financially able and it makes sense, offering your loved ones money to cover food costs and other expenses for your kids may also be a good idea.

If immediate family is not an option, extended family members, trusted friends or neighbors, or professional childcare centers are worth looking into.

You might even consider combining support from a family member and professional childcare services, to give your loved ones a periodic break from childcare responsibilities.

Immediate Family Members As The Primary Caretakers

Your spouse, parents, siblings, or other immediate family members are often the first people to turn to for childcare help if you’re beginning addiction treatment.

Most immediate family members already know your children and have probably provided care for them at some point, creating a more seamless experience for your kids.

If your parents are retired, it may be easier for them to bring your children for visits when visits are allowed.

Extended Family Members And Other Relatives

Another option is to ask cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or other relatives to look after your children for a set duration of time.

This is often another ideal choice if immediate family members are too far away or otherwise unavailable.

Other Trusted Loved Ones

Many people without support from family members turn to their friends or other loved ones for the care of their children during addiction treatment.

Friends who have children can be good people to ask, especially if your children already know and get along well with their children.

You might also consider asking a trusted, well-known neighbor who has interacted positively with your kids or a trusted member of your church to help provide care for your kids.

Professional Childcare Services

Professional childcare programs can also provide childcare services for a temporary period of time.

A drawback would be that your kids don’t know these care providers or the other children at the childcare center. However, you could introduce them before starting treatment.

Another drawback is that, while loved ones may offer childcare for free or for a small cost, professional childcare costs could be considerably more.

Drug Rehab Centers That Allow Children

Although rehab centers that allow children are not the solution for every parent, these family-friendly facilities may be worth looking into, especially if you’re having a hard time securing childcare.

The number of beds available for children may be limited, so be sure to call to ask about availability. The facility may also have an age limit for children.

Family-friendly addiction treatment centers often provide specific services for children, such as daycare, shuttle service to and from school, and educational programs.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

While residential rehab centers require clients to live onsite, outpatient programs, such as intensive outpatient programs (IOP), do not.

However, people with more severe addictions or unstable living situations often benefit most from inpatient or residential treatment.

If your healthcare providers feel that an outpatient program is suitable for you, childcare will be less of a concern, since you will remain living at home during treatment.

Find An Addiction Recovery Center Today

Call or visit AddictionResource.net today to discover available addiction treatment programs and services.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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