‘Kids Like Us’ Program Receives National Recognition

It was formed to help children who have family members who are addicts or recovering.



Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County’s “Kids Like Us” program has received some recognition from the National Prevention Network. The organization has honored the program with the Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices and Policies.

The Health Department will pick up the award at the NPN conference in September.

“Kids Like Us” was founded in 1988 by art therapist Julie Wood Merchant. It provides a counseling support group for children ages eight through 14 whose family members are battling addiction or are in recovery. Both the Health Department and Frederick County Public Schools allow children to interact with each other kids who are experiencing the same issues. It’s school-based, free and confidential.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the “Kids Like Us” program served 188 high risk children at 34 local public schools.

“The Kids Like Us program provides a bright light of hope to children who are feeling stressed, ashamed and isolated when family members are addicted to heroin and other substances,” says County Executive Jan Gardner, in a statement. “We are so proud to have this phenomenal program here that truly makes a difference in the lives of Frederick County’s children.”

Student artwork will be on display at the 14th annual “Kids Like Us” Art Show at the Delaplaine Arts Center from September 2-24.


By Kevin McManus