"My wife is a drug addict. I can't leave my children home alone with her. But I need to go to work to support them. What do I do?"

A father of two toddlers phoned CPI to ask for help. His wife had become addicted to methamphetamines and he was afraid to leave the children home alone during the day. He frequently returned from work to find his wife passed out on the couch and children unattended. The couple fought bitterly and the police were called frequently to intervene in their arguments.

The father began working with one of CPI's father outreach mentors who helped him qualify for a leave-of-absence from work while he and the mother's parents persuaded the mother to seek treatment. Mother entered a treatment facility while father cared for the children, assisted by regular visits from his father mentor. "I had to learn a lot," said the dad. "Most of all, I had to learn to be patient under really stressful conditions."

The father's older sister agreed to move into the home and watch the children while mother was in treatment. This allowed the father to go back to work. When the children's mother finished her treatment she and the father agreed to counseling to address the impact of her addiction on their marriage and family.

"We're doing so much better now," said the father. "I don't know if my wife and I will stay together, but I know the kids will be OK now. I'm much more confident as a parent and I know what's best for them."

Sometimes the hardest part of parenting is to live with uncertainties about the future. But children can know a feeling of security, even in the most stressful situations, as long as their parents remain attentive to their needs.