Parent Ally Mentor


Amanda’s story showcases her incredible determination. When she faced the possibility of her daughter going into foster care because of her struggles with substance use, it was a wake-up call. She knew she had to get help. During the ups and downs along the way, she kept pushing forward. Eventually, she got her daughter back and reached her goals for education and employment. Her journey highlights just how powerful a parent’s love can be and how much it drives us to overcome obstacles.

After years of grappling with the impact of addiction, including dropping out of high school, a criminal record, mental illness, and homelessness, Amanda was resigned to her circumstances. Although she had lost custody, her 3-year-old daughter was well cared for by family members. 

“The addiction was so powerful, nothing else mattered,” says Amanda.

But then Amanda received a sobering call from her mother, and everything changed. Her parents had not cleared a crucial hurdle to become legal guardians of Amanda’s daughter. Her daughter would likely go into the foster care system.

The gravity of this situation shook Amanda and her mother to the core. Despite her situation, Amanda had always found solace in knowing her daughter was safe with her parents, growing up well cared for in a nice house. But now, faced with the prospect of her daughter being placed with strangers, Amanda knew she had to do something quickly, and her options were limited.

She swiftly sought help and found a treatment center willing to take her in. Though her journey to recovery that followed wasn’t without its hurdles, including setbacks with recurring drug use and the challenge of finding treatment that included mental health services, Amanda remained determined. 

“I went to my case manager at the IOP (intensive outpatient program), and I was like, I’ve been lying. I’ve been using fake urine. I need help,” said Amanda “Can you please send me to a long-term treatment center?”

With support from her mother and a Child Protective Services case manager, she transitioned from an intensive outpatient program to a long-term treatment center with mental health services. 

“I love my mom,” says Amanda. “I know I can tell her anything without judgment, and she might not always have advice I’m willing to accept, but she’s always there to offer me support.”

Despite the sacrifices, like missing her daughter’s birthday, Amanda remained steadfast in her commitment to recovery. She engaged fully in her treatment, including mental health services, parenting classes, and support meetings. Completing her treatment program marked a significant milestone in her journey, laying the groundwork for her next accomplishments.

From obtaining her GED to earning a degree in business, Amanda’s dedication to education underscored her resilience and determination to overcome her past. Despite the obstacles she faced in getting a job in business due to her criminal background, Amanda’s unwavering spirit led her back to school, this time focusing on substance abuse training to become a counselor in a field that values her lived experience.

Regaining custody of her daughter was a big victory for Amanda, symbolizing her transformation into a responsible parent. Today, Amanda serves as a parent ally mentor at Homeward House, guiding others on their paths to recovery with firsthand knowledge and experience of the struggle.

Her message to other parents facing substance use disorders, treatment, and recovery is simple:

“You get what you put in. If you want it bad enough, you’ll do it.”

After more than six years in recovery, Amanda finds joy in supporting her daughter’s interests, such as softball, and enjoying a stable family life. She looks forward to expanding her career in the service of others.