How You Can Help Children With Incarcerated Parents
2.7 million children have the experience of having an incarcerated parent. 10 million children will experience this struggle. This reality creates pain and different negative emotions for them. At some ages, these negative feelings they can continue a cycle of crime. This cycle is not what anyone wants for our youth. However, we can do something about it. By donating our time, money, and other resources, you make a difference. Keep this in mind during the shopping season with great deals. This is how you can help children with incarcerated parents.
Angel Tree: Gifts For Children
Prison Fellowship helps everyone involved in incarceration. They give new hope available through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, their Angel Tree Program helps children with incarcerated parents. The following from Angel Tree is how their program works:
Receive Angel Tree Names: Sometime in the fall, Angel Tree coordinators will receive the name, caregiver, and contact information of children who were signed-up by their mom or dad in prison.
Display Angel Tree Name Tags: Angel Tree tags are completed with the name of these children, along with gift suggestions, and are displayed in your church.
Angel Tree Announcement: Church members need to be notified of the program — bulletin, pulpit announcement, bulletin board, etc.—and invited to select names from the Angel Tree display.
Gift purchase and delivery: Church members purchase, wrap, and deliver a gift for each child on behalf of his or her incarcerated parent—and in the process, share the Gospel.
Donate here to make a difference for children.
Angel Tree Mentorship: Guidance For Children
Angel Tree also includes Angel Tree mentoring program. You can donate your time to help lead a child into the right direction towards Jesus and away from a cycle of crime. Having a parent behind bars can consequently create a cycle of crime, poverty, and other issues. Angel Tree mentors do some of the following from their mission statement:
Being an example of the love of Jesus Christ.
Improving young people’s attitudes towards their parents, peers, and teachers.
Encouraging students to stay motivated and focused on their education.
Providing a positive way for young people to spend free time.
Helping young people face daily challenges.
Offering young people opportunities to consider new career paths and get much-needed economics skills and knowledge.
Sesame Street Toolkit
PBS’s Sesame Street is two years away from celebrating their 50th anniversary. They educate children about many topics. Moreover, yes, incarceration is one of those issues. Since it may be hard for a caregiver, provider, or children to understand the situation at hand, help is needed. Sesame Street offers an incarceration toolkit. This toolkit will help guide those involved in the right direction. Along with the toolkit are tips are other resources to help.
SKIP, Inc helps children of incarcerated parents that they call “skippers.” In naming the children this term, the hope they will be the ones to skip the cycle of negativity. They settled in Montgomery, Alabama. You can donate here. Visit their website for more information. Foreverfamily does their best for all children under stressful and painful circumstances. For 30 years they have been helping children in the Atlanta area. Their program gives care to children by educating them in a healthy environment. Visit their website to donate and for more information.
Local Programs & Help
Child Welfare Information Gateway is a family-centered service. They help incarcerated parents and their families. They are in association with U.S Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, and The Children’s Bureau. You can check them out for more information and help. They will also guide you to local examples and help so you can do your part in your community.