PROJECT DETAILS

Workshop for Caregivers

Requirement

Children of Incarcerated Parents International, COIPI, exists to serve the needs of children with incarcerated parents.  Hairston (2007) reports that “The arrest and removal of a mother or father from a child’s life forces that child to confront emotional, social, and economic consequences that may trigger behavior problems, poor outcomes in school and a disruption or severance of the relationship with the incarcerated parent that may persist even after the parent is released from prison.”

Children with an incarcerated parent are disproportionately exposed to neighborhood and parental violence, drug and alcohol abuse in the home, familial mental illness, suicidality, and parental separation than their peers without an incarcerated parent.  Nearly 1 in 10 children with an incarcerated parent has experienced the death of a parent. 

COIPI’s LCSW-facilitated peer coaching model, designed by Carter McNamara—one of the world’s leading experts on designing and implementing peer coaching programs—will offer a series of short, highly focused meetings in which each member has dedicated time to work on his or her real-life goals or challenges.  Members exchange useful coaching and materials to produce action and reflection.  Each member takes relevant and realistic actions between meetings.

With this proposal, COIPI reaches its target population using a coaching model that allows parents to tap into their greatest resource—themselves, while concurrently offering expertise and information about health, social, and educational systems that can support and empower families.  Caregivers improve their knowledge, skills and abilities to care for their children. Desired outcomes for the children under the care of participants are increased resiliency, positive behavior change, and improved educational engagement, a greater sense of connection with each other, their caregivers, and the parent(s) in jail

COIPI is proposing to implement two 8-week LCSW-Facilitated Peer-Coaching sessions designed to support parents’ knowledge of resources, and planning for, choice and action on behavioral modifications that increase their children’s resiliency, educational engagement and familial connection.  Social workers trained in trauma-based care will facilitate the sessions.   We will use LCSWs because of their experience with trauma-based care and their knowledge of resources and health and social systems. Likewise, LCSWs are trained to recognize stress and will support parents in their planning and choice of behavioral modifications that lead to better outcomes for participants’children.  COIPI has two LCSWs with more than 17 years of combined work experience with young people in school and private settings.

During each coaching session, the LCSW-facilitator engages in brief practical evaluations for continuous project improvement.  COIPI will conduct a brief pre and post quantitative and qualitative assessment of needs, satisfaction with the coaching process, and participants’ perceptions of changes in their children’s resiliency, educational engagement, and familial connection as a function of their participation in the coaching process.

Funding will pay for two contracted LCSW staff, a contracted evaluator, and COIPI’s program coordinator for the project implementation.  COIPI is otherwise fully supported by volunteers.

Problem & Solutions

  • Hairston (2007) reports that “The arrest and removal of a mother or father from a child’s life forces that child to confront emotional, social and economic consequences that may trigger behavior problems, poor outcomes in school and a disruption or severance of the relationship with the incarcerated parent that may persist even after the parent is released from prison.”

  • COIPI is proposing to implement two 8-week LCSW-Facilitated Peer-Coaching sessions designed to support parents’ knowledge of resources as well as planning for and choosing behavioral modifications that increase their children’s resiliency, educational engagement, and familial connection.

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