Celebrating 25 Years of Mothers and Infants
(Drug-Free Babies) Program
Through its inception, this program has seen the drug/alcohol-free delivery of over 460 beautiful babies.
Community Impact of the Program
The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that the cost to society of one drug-exposed baby is $750,000 by the age of 18. 100% of the babies born within this program have been drug-free. This represents a savings of $300,000,000 to our community over the last 25 years, greater than a 3000% return on investment on the state funding received to date. The Drug-Free Babies program provides tools these moms need to stay drug-free and in turn, their babies are born drug-free, increasing the return on investment as the program treats both the mom and the baby.
Our Drug-Free Babies Program is housed in our Special Services Center at 1726 18th Street, in Sarasota and is a 17-bed residential program.
In 1995 First Step began receiving funding for the Drug-Free Babies Program from the Florida Legislature through the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The Drug-Free Babies Program is a substance abuse treatment program for pregnant and post-partum women and their infants.
Utilizing evidence-based clinical practices to address substance abuse, mental health, gender-specific, and trauma-related issues are at the core of the program. After delievery, the infant remains with the mother while she is in treatment, with an average stay of 6 to 8 months. An emphasis is placed on prenatal care, parenting skills, relapse prevention, smoking cessation, life management skills, and family reunification. The mothers are also required to pursue vocational training and/or GED preparation if appropriate increasing their opportunities for financial stability.
Women admitted to the program are addicted to opiates, benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, and many times, a combination of these drugs. They have experienced physical, sexual, and emotional trauma, and have turned to drugs to cope. The Drug-Free Babies program has developed a strong system of care for these women and infants, by collaborating with many community partners to provide comprehensive services.
Become a Caring Hearts Luncheon Sponsor
Become a sponsor of the 17th Annual 2020 Caring Hearts Luncheon which benefits our Mothers and Infants program. Click ORDER TICKETS to purchase a Sponsorship.
Silent Auction and Raffle Donations
First Step of Sarasota, Inc. is looking for unique and exciting items for our 17th Annual 2020 Caring Hearts Luncheon which benefits our Mothers and Infants program. This event will be February 19, 2020, at Michael's On East. If interested in donating an item, please click on the "DONATE ITEMS" button to contribute.
Give a little and get a lot in return.
Whether you have 1 item or 100 to contribute, your participation is an invaluable part of our fundraising efforts. By donating an item or service directly online, you'll be helping to raise money for our organization, and you'll receive a mention on our site that can link back to your own web page.
Attend the event and donate a NEW item from our Wish List below and receive a raffle ticket
Items that ARE NOT needed:
- Baby blankets
- Baby clothes
- Bed linens
Items that are needed for the unit:
- Shower curtains and tub mats (6 bathrooms)
- Pillows (17 beds)
- Protective pads for changing tables
- Sheets for changing table mattresses
Items that the moms would welcome:
- Baby bath gift sets
- Burp cloths
- Infant socks
- Teething toys
- Baby towels and washcloths
- Developmental toys for 0 to 9 months
- Bottles – Nuk or Tommee tippee brand, no glass bottles, please
- Infant swaddles
- Breastfeeding cover-up
- Educational toys for infants that can be wiped and that are without parts
- Sports bras (size large)
- Indoor/outdoor slippers
- Fuzzy socks
- Toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, etc)
- Nail polish
- Eye masks for sleeping
- Disposable cameras
- Clear, wide-mouthed water bottles
- Shower loofah
Walmart gift cards are always a good idea and are always welcome!