When Mike and Sue found themselves raising our grandchildren as  a result of their parents’ addiction, they realized they could not return their lost childhood to them. They could not protect them from the chaos, trauma and tragedy they had faced. They could not erase the stress, fear and pain they experienced. Still, they were committed to giving them what they needed to heal and thrive.

As they looked for ways to help them, they learned their grandchildren are among the one-in-four children in the U.S. experiencing alcohol abuse or drug addiction in their family. The combination of genetics and the traumatic experience of growing up with an addict in the home mean these kids are eight times more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. Addiction in our state is at a critical level, and it is being passed on through families to future generations. No one is immune from addiction. Like any other chronic disorder, addiction does not discriminate by age, education level, income, ethnicity, background, gender, religion, or any other factor. And no one is naturally equipped to cope with the addiction of a loved one.

They searched for local resources to help their family heal – to find healthy ways to cope with the heartache caused by substance abuse and found a peer-to-peer curriculum developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services offered in Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver. PFS is the only organization in Oklahoma that offers these targeted, proven services for children of addicts.


Peaceful Family Solutions (PFS) was created to help children heal and break the cycle of addiction through therapeutic play, artwork, recreation, and games. Completely free of charge and under the guidance of trained professionals, children learn:

  • that their parent’s substance abuse is not their fault
  • how to safely explore and share their feelings
  • how to begin healing from their pain
  • how to stay safe in hard times
  • to develop a self-care plan


Impact Oklahoma provided funding for a education center and van to assist underprivileged children and adults attend the program and continuing care groups, reaching more than 450 children and families annually. Today, Mike and Sue’s grandchildren— who are 2-time graduates of the program— are reunited with their father. Their almost-teenage granddaughter serves proudly as a spokesperson for Peaceful Family Solutions, helping to reach other children in the same situation.