MOMS Program - Knoxville, TN

Partnership between the Helen Ross McNabb Center and the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Tennessee


The MOMS (Motivating Our Mothers to Succeed) Program is a program funded to increase the availability and access of residential treatment by women who are pregnant or postpartum who have a history of problems with using alcohol or other substances. MOMS addresses the family system by wrapping around the mother and her significant supports and helping them reach their goals while providing a space of stabilization and bridging the gaps that other services might leave.

Summary of Innovative Program

Special Populations

The MOMS program serves pregnant and postpartum women and their families in numerous counties in the East Tennessee region. Most notably, the MOMS program is bridging a gap in services for women who are incarcerated and in need of substance abuse treatment and access to holistic care that will set them up for success. MOMS staff traverses a typically unwavering border by partnering with local judicial systems and accessing the women inside the jails in the community and helping them access services while providing stabilization to family members who may also be inside or outside of the judicial system. MOMS has served 167 women and their family members since its inception in April 2015.

Program Replication Tips

The MOMS program has continually utilized community partnerships with members of various facets of the community and the judicial system to engage and assist participants with alternative sentencing plans. Our working relationships with community partners are really the cornerstone of our success in accessing the pregnant women in the community based jail systems and coordinating their care inside and outside of jail.

  • Women, their attorneys, their community based support systems, social workers, and treatment providers are all a part of the same team that works toward one goal of diversionary release planning and treatment access that would otherwise be unavailable in most cases.
  • No exclusionary policy. Women have access to a wrap-around case manager or social worker inside the jail system.
  • Their partners/significant others and/or family members have access to support whether the client is incarcerated or in treatment.
  • Provide follow-up post release with educational classes, individual therapy, family counseling, and continued wrap-around case management to aid women in continued success.

Policy & Financing Strategies

MOMS has received funding from SAMSHA under the pregnant and postpartum women’s residential grant funding awarded in 2014. Necessary services are provided in coordination with the broader scope of the Helen Ross McNabb Center’s services in Knox and surrounding counties, the Department of Human Services, Department of Children’s Services, and many other community organizations. Justice centered partnerships with the Knox County Detention Facility, Board of Probation and Parole, and Helen Ross McNabb’s Judicial Diversion Programming as well as the Knox County Public Defender’s Office.

Impact / Results

The center is continuing to strive toward continued engagement of women and their families. Of the 175 individuals served, 162 have successfully entered treatment in various levels of care, including detoxification, residential rehabilitation, intensive outpatient, and outpatient therapy services. Individuals are engaged for 6-month follow-ups and there is an approximate 53% reconnection rate with clients due for follow-up. Additional staff will be added in the near future, and there are efforts to further 6-month outreach goals. Currently, the center is at 127% of the target enrollment goals. The Helen Ross McNabb Center is dedicated to continuing the mission of improving the lives of the people it serves.

Agency Contact Information

Agency Name:Partnership between the Helen Ross McNabb Center and the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Tennessee
City, StateKnoxville, Tennessee
General Phone Number:(865) 329-9105
Website URL: