MOMS Program - Cincinnati, OH


First Step Home is the premiere Cincinnati region treatment center for women to live together with their children, up to the age of 12, as they recover from their substance use disorders. The agency treats up to 400 women per year.

First Step Home’s Maternal Addiction Program, called the MOMS Program, offers clients access to mental health care, primary care, prenatal care, post-partum care, medication-assisted treatment services, case management services, trauma-informed services, on-site child care, vocational education and training, transitional housing services and group and individual therapy.

First Step Home was founded in 1993 in a single facility and the organization now has twelve buildings, including 16 residential beds and 67 additional transitional housing treatment beds. It provides a campus-like environment surrounding its main treatment facility within a three-block radius, providing a safe, affordable, healthy home environment for women, together with their children, early in recovery.


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Summary of Innovative Program

Special Populations

The MOMS Program at First Step Home seeks to assist in providing pregnant women with substance use disorders with safer, healthier pregnancies and birth outcomes. The MOMS Program provides women with children, up to the age of 12, with the wrap-around services they need to make healthier choices for themselves and their families while seeking recovery. The new Terry Schoenling Home for Mothers and Infants will provide new mothers that all- important first month of establishing new, healthy routines with their newborns and increasing the bond between mother and child.

Every month pregnant women with substance use disorders come to First Step Home with referrals from court, from jail and from within the community. Other women come from trauma-filled experiences, homelessness and abusive relationships, needing substance use disorder treatment and housing for themselves and their children. First Step Home supports women without judgment or preconditions, other than that they remain sober, or within the guidelines of medication-assisted treatment protocols, while they are in treatment.

First Step Home’s MOMS Program provides access to health care and neonatal care, oversight for medication-assisted treatment, behavioral health services, breastfeeding and baby care basics, family support groups, parenting classes, trauma-informed services, on-site child care, case management services and group and individual counseling.

As a part of achieving best practices for MOMS Program clients, the agency delivers individual case planning with client involvement in the treatment design that includes engaging the family, reuniting the family and individualized treatment. First Step Home’s policy of family engagement includes a family night every Tuesday, where members of the family, spouses and significant others are invited for dinner. A licensed clinician provides education and the supper is a prerequisite for visitations on the weekends, promoting a safe, sober environment for families to reunify.

Program Replication Tips

  • The comprehensive housing services provided to clients are the foundation of the MOMS Program. Housing is walking distance from a continuum of services provided at the main treatment facility as well as public transportation. Housing options for safe, sober housing allow women to continue treatment while they take over full-time parenting and vocational training.
  • Clients are provided opportunities to practice sober parenting in the safe, supervised environment of First Step Home’s Children’s Room.
  • Family engagement policy allows co-parents to attend education groups, dinners and have visitations with children and women on weekends.

Policy & Financing Strategies

First Step Home has received funding from the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Hamilton County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, a series of State of Ohio Grants including a Women’s Set-Aside grant, a Recovery Housing grant, the MOMS Grant and a Capital Project for 2207 Fulton Avenue. Private Foundation grants come from the Ed & JoAnn Hubert Foundation, the Joiner Family through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the George B. Riley Trust, the Sauerland Foundation, the Cincinnati Woman’s Club Foundation, the Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation and the Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee. Additional funds come from Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati, client fees, and individual donations.

Impact / Results

Sixty-five percent of First Step Home women served complete the residential treatment program successfully, placing First Step Home in the top 1% of state-certified agencies. Seventy percent of clients are abstinent at the time of exit. Many of the clients complete the full program, receiving all recommended treatment within a six-month period.

Graduates leave with six months of sobriety, a job or income generation, stable housing and may be reunited with children in foster care. More than 50% of program graduates are employed and 98% of program participants have not incurred new criminal charges at the time of exit.

Agency Contact Information

Agency Name:First Step Home, Inc.
City, StateCincinnati, Ohio
General Phone Number:513-961-4663
Website URL: