Addiction Services of York Region Expands Umbrellas Program for Pregnant Women and Mothers with Young Children Who Are Experiencing Substance Use Disorder

Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR) confirmed today that it will receive funding to expand its Umbrellas program. The Umbrellas program provides programs and services to support pregnant women and mothers with young children who are experiencing substance use disorders. The Umbrellas program is offered by a number of addiction agencies throughout Ontario for over 10 years and has been successful in supporting individuals accessing this program.

As the largest provider of addiction services for the Central LHIN, this funding will allow ASYR to expand and enhance its Umbrellas program. The enhanced program will include case management, addictions counselling, education, peer support, referrals to parenting and community programs, assistance with child welfare and some child care support.

The new funding is the result of an agreement between Black Creek Community Health Centre (Black Creek CHC), ASYR and the Central Local Health Integration Network to reallocate program dollars from the Black Creek CHC Bridges to Moms and Moms and Kids Too programs, to ASYR.

Currently, ASYR partners with the Black Creek CHC to deliver the Bridges to Moms and Moms and Kids Too. The Bridges to Moms program provides counselling and case management support to women who are pregnant and/or have children under the age of six years and are at risk of substance abuse. Services provided include: assessment and referral, counselling, child development services, education and consultation on the issues of substance use and pregnancy and parenting, and assistance with child welfare issues. The Moms and Kids Too program is a substance-use day treatment program which is offered in multiple sites across the Central LHIN. This program has served women in North York and Northern York Region.

The reallocation of these funds will allow Black Creek CHC to enhance its operational capacity to deliver high quality primary care.  This includes innovative new models of delivery such as inter-professional care teams to improve access to a wide range of services such as physiotherapy, chronic disease management and mental health supports.

Working collaboratively, BCCHC and ASYR are committed to minimizing the disruption of programs and services to clients in need.

“Addiction Services for York Region is committed to providing the right mix of programs and services for all of its clients and looks forward to working with community agencies throughout the Central LHIN to ensure that pregnant women and mothers with young children who are experiencing substance use disorders receive the supports they need”, said Penny Marrett, Executive Director, Addiction Services for York Region. “We will work closely with Black Creek CHC to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for current clients.”

Through the continuing establishment of six Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics throughout the Central LHIN by ASYR, it will be able to provide much-needed additional supports to pregnant women and/or mothers with young children who are experience substance use disorder.

ASYR has worked closely with a number of community agencies over the years including Black Creek Community Health Centre, the Krasman Centre, Across Boundaries, York Support Services Network, Caritas, Vita Nova, Blue Doors Shelters, CAS York Region and CMHA, among others, to provide counselling, case management, peer support, community outreach and information/referral. ASYR looks forward to continuing its collaboration with community partners to serve the residents within the Central LHIN, including pregnant women and/or mothers with young children who are experiencing substance use disorders.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact ASYR at