Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education and Research (MATER)
Providing women with substance use disorders and their children the care they deserve
Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education and Research (MATER) at Thomas Jefferson University is one of the oldest, largest and most comprehensive substance use disorder (SUD) programs for pregnant and parenting women in the country. Our team is committed to advancing the care of women and families affected by substance use disorder through clinical treatment, nationally funded research and clinician training programs.
We celebrate the courageous women who come into treatment and make the daily commitment to create better lives for themselves, their children and their families. We harness the willpower of these mothers who love their children fiercely enough to do the hard work required in the recovery journey.
When recovery can feel overwhelming, we empower women in their journey to independence and fulfilling parenthood.
Our Model of Care
We use a mindfulness-based, trauma-responsive and person-centered approach as the foundation of our care to support women and their children in their recovery process.
Person-centered: women in our program, and their families, partner with our team every step of the decision-making process, from planning initial steps to managing ongoing care. Our team offers the hope, support and tools to address the many roadblocks to recovery and prioritize the mother-child relationship.
Trauma-responsive: we recognize that many who struggle with substance use disorder have a history of trauma, such as violence and homelessness. With our trauma-responsive approach, recovery efforts focus on more than stopping the problematic substance use by addressing each person’s unique history of trauma.
Mindfulness-based: MATER is the first substance use disorder treatment program in the nation to integrate mindfulness into our approach and many aspects of our care. Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, promote self-compassion and improve mother-child relationships and parenting behavior.
Mindfulness saved my life. Just by being present and taking things a minute at a time, I can better manage cravings to use a substance to avoid feeling difficult emotions... helping me to realize I am not just my emotions. Knowing I can pause and begin my day again is incredibly empowering.
Our Outpatient & Residential Programs
Our programs are designed to empower pregnant and parenting women during recovery in a compassionate, welcoming environment. The journey to healthy recovery and parenthood all starts with meeting with a MATER representative from our Family Center Outpatient Program or our My Sister’s Place Residential Program.
Family Center is our outpatient treatment program designed exclusively for pregnant and parenting women. Family Center offers intensive outpatient care and long-term support for outpatient care with access to comprehensive medical, psychological and social service support. The Family Center serves hundreds of women each and every month.
My Sister’s Place (MSP)
My Sister’s Place is our residential treatment program for pregnant and parenting women. MSP serves up to 22 women, who can bring up to three children each to live with them at the facility. In addition to medical, psychological and social service support, MSP focuses on building the skills required for independent living, such as personal and home care, financial management and cooking.
Contact us at 215-955-3792 for more information or to schedule a tour.
Network of Services
We are dedicated to providing comprehensive, whole-person care to address the myriad of roadblocks to recovery. Our nationally and internationally recognized programs help women build capacity for healthy living and healthy relationships with their children.
Our network of services are tailored to each person’s needs and include individual, group and family therapy, medical care and psychological care. We also offer social service support to address many of the often-overlooked barriers to successful treatment and recovery. In addition, we recommend Healthy Minds Philly for mental health support and resources.
Message from our Director
”We welcome you to our MATER program, whether you are someone affected by substance use disorder or a provider. As the Director of MATER, I can assure you of confidentiality and a treatment plan that will improve the quality of your life.
Founded over 50 years ago, MATER is one of the oldest and most comprehensive programs in the nation for pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorder. We provide a trauma-responsive environment that treats women and their children with compassion as we support them in their recovery process.
All of our work is focused on three pillars: person-centered clinical treatment, nationally funded research and multidisciplinary education. We are committed to advancing the treatment, care and wellbeing of every mother-child and family unit affected by substance use disorder.
I welcome you to contact me or my team to meet with us and come for a tour of Family Center or My Sister’s Place.”
- Diane Abatemarco, PhD, MSW
Research & Evidence-Based Care
MATER is a research program with a state-of-the-art, federally funded research agenda. Our faculty collaborates across the colleges at Thomas Jefferson University and beyond to advance substance use research. Our research informs the development of innovative models of substance use disorder treatment to improve clinical care nationally and internationally.
Our research in Mindfulness-Based Parenting has attracted national attention. MATER has been featured in a Sunday New York Times article by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jennifer Egan and a PBS documentary about the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. We are proud to host government officials from the tristate area and national administration who visit our program to witness firsthand, and learn from, our program’s unique approach.
Clinician Training Programs
MATER trains students, residents and fellows across disciplines, including psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics, psychology, social work, nursing, counseling and population health. We educate students and clinicians with the most current knowledge of substance use disorder care and treatment to harness their passion for working in this field and reduce the social stigma associated with addiction.
Featured Patient Story
When Gina Committed to Treatment
Women like Gina who struggle with substance use face continuous stigma towards themselves and their children. Our trauma-responsive approach at MATER welcomed Gina into a safe space to enter treatment.
Your contributions strengthen our ability at MATER to evolve and adapt to the needs of the women we serve, enabling us to advance our research, develop successful programs and expand our programs to reach even more families in need.
Make an Appointment
Thank you for your interest in MATER. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a meeting or tour, you can contact the MATER team at 215-955-3792. We look forward to hearing from you.