Offering Hope to Children of Incarcerated Parents
As many as twenty-five thousand children and youth in South Florida have an incarcerated parent. Because of this, they experience grief, fear, loneliness and poverty and are susceptible to depression and other mental disorders. Plus, these children are more likely than their peers to become involved in delinquency, run-ins with the law and even incarceration themselves.
A "Hidden Population" - Shame at having an incarcerated parent or relative is another negative factor affecting these children and their caregivers. They have become a "hidden population. To add to the difficulty, the criminal justice and social service system in Miami Dade County currently has no effective way of identifying these children and their families and assuring that they receive the help they need.
There is Hope - Hope for Miami is a partner in the Service Network for Children of Inmates (COI) a collaboration of nine faith-based and professional agencies.
Together, COI locates these hard-to-find children to ensure they are safe and living with a responsible adult caregiver. The COI partnership also establishes Coordinated Care Centers to respond to crises facing children of prisoners, and it offers counseling and mentoring services to reduce the children’s risks for anti-social behaviors and to facilitate their stabilization. In addition, the Network strengthens bonds between children and their incarcerated parents through prison and jail visits and video conferencing visitations.
Join us! If you know a child or family who can benefit from the program, or if you'd like to know how you can become meaningfully involved in the lives of these kids through volunteering, contact contact us at COI@hopeformiami.org or 786-388-3000 for more information.
samantha @ hopeformiami.org
This program is generously funded by The Children's Trust