Family Support

Family Support (5)

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 15:41

Dorn: Mentoring: caring adults and safe places

Written by
11:00 PM, Oct. 22, 2011 |
Jeffrey Dorn, Director of Shapes Mentoring Program in Missouri
Jeffrey Dorn
Tom had only been mentoring for a few short weeks and was already convinced that he was a failure. He felt this way because his mentee fell asleep in the car the moment he got picked up for this weekly outing. Tom assumed that his mentee, Robert, was bored with him and was really not interested in "hanging out" with him.

Upon some inquiries from program staff it was determined that Robert's sleeping was, in fact, not a result of boredom, but because he was in a place he felt safe.

Robert, age 5, was a mentee in the Shapes Mentoring Program. Shapes provides caring adult mentors to children of inmates living in southwest Missouri. Robert was one of these children. His father was in a Missouri prison, partially due to the fact that he abused his children.

The father would come home late at night. He would typically be intoxicated and he would enter Robert's room and hit him. Robert had learned that it was not safe to sleep through the night. Even though dad was no longer in the home, Robert's sleep patterns were still affected.

Why was Robert sleeping in Tom's car? Because he felt safe with Tom. He knew that Tom was there for him, to be a friend, confidant and mentor.

Throughout the United States there are approximately 2.7 million children who have a parent in prison.

By LAUREN SAUSSER (AP) 

CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND — They were unlikely dance partners in an unlikely dance hall: a 29-year-old murderer and a 10-year-old boy doing an impromptu tango as Luther Vandross' "Dance with My Father" sounded from a boom box in a prison gym.

It was one of the lighter moments at the emotional end of a weeklong summer camp where inmate dads and their children reconnected after years apart. Seven fathers — all in prison-issued jeans and blue, short-sleeved shirts — swayed to the song with their children, some openly crying.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 16:50

Study finds children of inmates at higher risk

Written by

10/12/10
KEN MILLER, Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma children whose mothers are in prison are five times more likely to end up in prison themselves, according to a report released Tuesday by a child advocacy group.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's annual Kids Count Factbook said those children then often have children of their own who end up in the same situation, perpetuating the cycle.

"We know any adverse childhood experience, any sort of trauma or loss a child experiences affects them in their development," said Linda Terrell, the group's executive director.

By Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press Writer

Women Inmates sharing time with their children during visit.

Patty Prewitt, second from left, and Kris Scheller, right, work on a craft project with Prewitt's daughter, Carrie Melton, left, and graddaughter Megan Lewis, 5, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008, at the Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Mo. Prewitt and Scheller are a part of the Missouri 4-H LIFE program, which tries to create a healthy environment for offenders and members of their family.

 VANDALIA, MISSOURI — The crayons, construction paper and toddlers scattered on the floor suggest a typical daycare center or kindergarten classroom. The armed guards and surveillance cameras reveal a painful reality.

Thursday, 12 August 2010 04:54

Research examines the price of prison for children

Written by

Aug. 9, 2010

by David Tenenbaum

Wisconsin - It comes as no surprise that many children suffer when a parent is behind bars. But as rates of incarceration grew over the past 30 years, researchers were slow to focus on the collateral damage to children.

The best estimate says that at any one time, 1.7 million (about 2.3 percent) of all American children have a parent in prison, says Julie Poehlmann, a professor in the School of Human Ecology and investigator at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison