• June/July 2003
  • Vol. 4, No. 5

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Help for Children of Prisoners

Between 1991 and 1999, the number of children with a parent in a Federal or State correctional facility increased by more than 100 percent, from about 900,000 to about 2 million. The effects on children can be devastating. Research confirms the physical absence of a parent has profound negative effects on a child's development. Add to this the social stigma of parental incarceration and the extent of trauma increases geometrically. In addition, a parent's arrest often is part of a larger picture of pre-existing family difficulty and dysfunction characterized by poverty, violence, instability, substance abuse, or prior separations.

A new article by Wade Horn, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, outlines the Administration's plan to address this problem by awarding $10 million in grants to match children of prisoners with 100,000 mentors who will develop caring, supportive relationships with them.

Find the full text on the Children's Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/hotissues/hiddenvictims.htm.

Additional information:

A press release announcing the grants can be found on the Administration for Children and Families website at www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2003/release_052003.html. The program announcement and application forms are available on the Family and Youth Services Bureau website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/mcpfund-anncmt.htm.

"Mentoring Matters," a videoconference featuring profiles of successful mentoring programs, was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs on February 7, 2003. The videoconference is now archived on the Web at http://juvenilenet.org/jjtap/mentoring/view.html. Videotapes of the conference are available for $15 from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, (800) 638-8736.

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