ABOUT WOMEN’S FIRSTEP
Located in Oklahoma City, the Women’s FIRSTEP program was founded in 1989 and is currently operated by OKC Metro Alliance. Commonly utilized as an alternative to incarceration, this is one of thegender-specific rehabilitation facilities in the state that provides long-term residential treatment struggling with chemical dependency. Although FIRSTEP is a therapeutic treatment facility, the program emphasizes employment as an important component of recovery.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
To be admitted, clients must commit to the program for at least six months, but it can last up to two years. Once enrolled, clients attend nightly in-house and off-site 12-step meetings and participate in Big Book study sessions. The program also facilitates group and individual counseling sessions, parenting classes, and, if needed, weekly math and literacy tutoring sessions from a certified teacher.
Primarily a work recovery program, FIRSTEP helps its residents find full-time jobs, and their earnings contribute to the cost of treatment. The facility states that clients who work six days per week will develop life skills through these jobs, including becoming punctual, reliable, and hard-working.
Women’s FIRSTEP employs a team of master’s level administrators, nurse’s aides, social workers, and a support team that assists with the residence. In Oklahoma,of substance abuse treatment centers have continuing education requirements for staff, as of 2016. The seven alumni and loved ones polled by Best-rehabs.com to date provided mixed feedback regarding the facility’s staff. It should be noted that surveys also included reviews for the men’s program.
Staff’s Level of Experience and Training: 2.9/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Located on five acres outside of Oklahoma City, FIRSTEP offers a tranquil, therapeutic environment. Residents of the 56-bed facility share dorm-like living arrangements. Until a client is employed, she performs various chores to maintain the facility and grounds.
Women’s FIRSTEP features an on-site chapel and a children’s play area for family visits. Family members are invited to visit the facility from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. every second Sunday. The seven individuals polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave above-average ratings for the facility’s accommodations.
Facility’s Cleanliness and Upkeep: 3.7/5
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
At the time of this writing six alumni have been polled by Best-rehabs.com. Alumni reviews were slightly negative. Four of the alumni gave the facility neutral ratings for the quality of the facility, but negative ratings for the quality of FIRSTEP’s overall treatment approach.
Holistic Offerings: 2/5
Family Participation: 2.3/5 stars
Counseling Options: 2.3/5 stars.
Former client K.C. summarized the experience by writing, “I think this is a decent place for someone that doesn’t need extensive treatment.” The fact that the program is work-based received mixed feedback, with some alumni listing this as a facility strength while others felt this was a facility weakness.
These sentiments were echoed on Google, where 12 reviewers provided an average rating of 3.8 out of five stars at the time of this writing. A few women reported success with the program and long-lasting sobriety. Alum K.H. wrote, “I am a firm believer,this program showed me how to deal(cope)with my triggers,” in a representative positive review. On the other hand, former client J.G. criticized the facility for being a “work camp.”
The facility’s Facebook page, which it has the ability to monitor, yielded similarly mixed reviews, with an average rating of 3.6 stars from 10 users. “Firstep is not a hold your hand facility. However it is a great facility to start the roots of your recovery,” L.H. commented in a representative review.
WHAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY
At the time of this writing, there have been three loved ones polled by Best-rehabs.com. One of these individuals gave a very positive review of the facility, awarding four or perfect five-star ratings for the level of family participation, its counseling options, and discharge planning.
However, loved one Tarra was not as pleased with the treatment offered at the men’s facility, supporting reviewers who felt FIRSTEP’s overall work-therapy approach may not be beneficial. Offering two stars for the facility’s counseling options and one star for the level of family participation, she wrote: “They fail to adequately gauge a client’s success, graduation is based on written work completion & time spent there.”
Karen, the third loved one polled to date, awarded three out of five stars for nearly every metric for the women’s facility, including the level of family participation and whether or not she would recommend this facility to others. “Not really a rehab it’s more of a work Based rehab,” she wrote.
The facility never charges any fees to participate in the program, therefore, no individual is ever turned away for inability to pay. Seven individuals to provide feedback to Best-rehabs.com at the time of this writing expressed satisfaction with the center’s financing options.