Providence Humboldt County's HEALSS project provides resources for families with substance use

Mother of four K’iday Powell poses with her daughter and HEALSS social worker Hannah Lippe.

In 2021, Providencein partnership with Child Welfare Services (CWS) launched the HEALSS (Health Education Advances Lasting Safety and Support) pilot program in Humboldt County, identifying a need to help families with infants who test positive for illicit drugs at birth. 

With the goal of keeping families safely intact while they work with CWS, the HEALSS program advocates against unnecessary separation from parents, which can have lifelong impacts on a child. 

Both voluntary and complementary, HEALSS encourages participating families to meet weekly with a licensed clinical social worker, who provides comprehensive services, such as infant massage, parent modeling, intensive case management services and counseling.

Hannah Lippe, the HEALSS program social worker uses an evidence-based practice to decrease risks associated with drug use, focusing on safety for the entire family. 

“I wouldn’t have felt as strong and confident in myself without the help of Hannah and the HEALSS program,” said K'iday Powell, a mother of four who has worked with Hannah for many years.

Together, Powell and Lippe have created a personalized plan to support her family’s safety, discussing triggers of use and setback plans. This has helped Powell close her case with CWS and become stable in her recovery.

Thanks to HEALSS, more families are receiving dignified care and living healthier lives. 

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