Chapter 1SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING: Developing Emotional and Social Intelligence in students with Incarcerated Parents in Panabo City A. IntroductionThe nation’s growing prison and jail population has raised serious questions about the collateral effects of incarceration on children, families and communities. Whatever one’s views about the appropriate roleof incarceration in the criminal justice system, it is clear that imprisonment disrupts positive, nurturingRelationships between many parents—particularly mothers—and their children.
In addition, many families with children suffer economic strain and instability when a parent is imprisoned. Research suggests that intervening in the lives of incarcerated parents and their children to preserve and strengthen positive family connections can yield positive societal benefits in the form of reduced recidivism, less intergenerational criminal justice system involvement, and promotion of healthy child development. In the words of one prominent researcher, “studies. . . indicated that families are important to prisoners and to the achievement of major social goals, including the prevention of recidivism and delinquency.
“1Because this area is fraught with major data gaps, it is recommended that policymakers begin their exploration of the subject by posing a series of questions to their staffs and the heads of agencies with jurisdiction over law enforcement, corrections, child welfare, education and welfare, as well as child advocates, the university community and others who have an interest in ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are in custody.The many issues that face children of incarcerated parents and their families are complex and cross the jurisdictional boundaries of multiple agencies and service systems. In addition, thoughtful policymaking in this area is hindered by lack of reliable data on the characteristics of these children and a paucity of sound research on both the effects of parental incarceration and the effectiveness of interventions.
Nevertheless, a growing number of state policymakers are taking an active interest in helping children of incarcerated parents. This paper provides a preliminary framework for those who must deal with this critical policy issue.B. Statement of the problemThis report proposes a list of such questions, each followed by a discussion that is intended, not so much as a definitive answer, but as general background information. The information identifies only general trends, since specific answers to the questions posed will differ by state, depending on factors such as the existing policy context and service array, demographic trends and available data.C.
Scope and Delimitation ison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts, for those who celebrate this holiday. Angel Tree, a Prison Fellowship program, is nationwide. In most cases, local church volunteers purchase and deliver gifts to children in the name of their prisoner-parent.If you are interested in participating as a gift-giver, you can call Prison Fellowship at 1-800-55-ANGEL. If you are seeking to connect Angel Tree with a child of an incarcerated parent, learn more on the website.The Sesame WorkshopThe Sesame Workshop, pioneered by the Administration for Children and Families group, includes multimedia, bilingual (English/Spanish) programs for children of incarcerated parents.
One of most beloved sources of early childhood development, Sesame Street, now offers these children and their families/caregivers a free toolkit. The resources are also valuable for the range of other professionals who interact with these children. “Sesame Workshop believes the incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers. The very act can bring about big changes and transitions. But Sesame Workshop feels there are simple everyday ways to help comfort a child and guide him or her through these tough moments.”SKIP, IncSKIP, Inc is a program focused on Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents. With franchises around the country, this program works with youth and their caregivers to establish a supportive “circle” of positive relationships around every child.They provide behavioral and academic empowerment programs for children who have one or both parents in prison.
To inquire about a program in your area, click here.Additionally, they offer an online community for teens ages 13-17. Every Sunday evening at 6:00 PM Eastern, kids can share their thoughts and ideas with others who understand.
SKIP also offers a variety of community programming, printed and online resources, and volunteer training.Assisting Families of InmatesAssisting Families of Inmates, based in Virginia, specializes in providing programs for children of incarcerated parents. Specifically, they create opportunities for visiting an inmate parent. Creating referrals to community resources and other services also helps families cope with incarceration. Their program, the Milk and Cookies Children’s Program (the MAC Program), ran for 11 years throughout Richmond.
Determine if you or someone you know can benefit from these services:Children’s support group guided by an established, evaluated and copyrighted core curriculumInformation and groups for parents, caregivers, school personnel/administration and service providers on the unique needs of these childrenAssistance to caregivers with resources that can help with financial, housing, transportation, employment and other concerns or family and household stressorsSupport for healthy family reunification and reintegration when the incarcerated parent is releasedWhile it is no longer running regularly, these resources are available on an as-needed basis and the AFOI foundation is dedicated to this population of children and their caregivers. Email [email protected] for more information.
Children of InmatesChildren of Inmates is a Florida-based organization that helps to keep the lines of communication open between children and their incarcerated parents. According to their website, they “introduce children to their incarcerated parents, create positive memories and moments for the children, and facilitate rebuilding lasting bonds for a lifetime.”With a focus on raising children to be happy, healthy and productive citizens, this organization provides a series of services like Bonding Visits.As an advocate for stronger policies to strengthen the bond between children and their incarcerated parents, Children of Inmates helps to mitigate the trauma caused by the separation.Hour ChildrenHour Children is providing practical, comprehensive services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families. Located in Long Island City, this organization has been helping their local community for 25 years.Through prison- and community-based programs that support these fragile women and their families, this organization helps them work to transform their lives and achieve self-sufficiency.
In the past year:Hour Children provided Supportive Housing to 199 women and children76 children benefited from the Hour Friend Indeed mentoring program.132 women benefited from Hour Working Women Reentry Program; making them more qualified for livable wage jobs.Hour welcoming playrooms at Taconic and Bedford Hills Correctional Facilities hosted more than 2,300 visits from children8,118 people used Hour Community Food PantryForeverfamilyForeverfamily is an Atlanta-based program that works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to be surrounded by the love of family.
This organization has several programs designed to nurture kids socially, emotionally, and educationally. For younger children, an after-school program helps them cope psychologically with the effects of having their parents imprisoned by allowing them a safe place to interact with other children in similar situations.Additional programs in the Atlanta-Metro area include Teen Leadership, Summer Camp and more.