L S T IP V I F I I T G P M R A N E FA R L I O N O T IS E
SH B H A N R T A P L L SM O C DI S T O
Karla Walker, Director of Family Matters , Suffolk County Sheriffs Dept. Raechelle Joyner -Jones Director of The Center for FAMILY MATTERS Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins created the Family Matters Program to deliver services that are critical to the health and wellbeing of the family. Believing that with the proper resources for a stronger family unit, we will begin breaking the cycles of incarceration and recidivism.
WHAT IS IT? Launched in 2015, Family Matters is a voluntary program under the Re-integration Services at the Suffolk County House of Correction. Family Matters was developed to assist inmates and their families to work toward positive relationships that strengthen the family as a unit by re-unifying inmates with their children/love ones while incarcerated and connecting the family to wrap around support services where needed. HOW DOES FAMILY MATTERS WORK? In preparation for re-entry the Suffolk County HOC provides every inmate with the opportunity to take part in education, training and workforce development. Such as: culinary arts, small engine repair, HiSet, tailoring OSHA
certification etc. In addition to that, Family Matters Participants are provided with tools and skills to build their knowledge around fatherhood and family engagement by learning about healthy methods to strengthening their families. FAMILY MATTERS AS A PREVENTION MODEL Primary Prevention NO ENTRY Proven risk youth Students Youth in foster care Children of the
incarcerated Returning Secondary Prevention Citizen(2ndChan ENTRY ce) Inmates/sentenced individuals Children and families of the incarcerated Tertiary Prevention RE-ENTRY (Reducing Recidivism) Returning Citizens, Children and Families of the returned citizen, community residents, the promotion of public safety to the community at large.
PROGRAM BENEFITS Each year, nearly 3,000 inmates are released from the HOC into the neighboring communities. Through collaboration, Family Matters uses all available resources in the Suffolk County community to strengthen our impact in working with returning citizens and their families with a focused detail on the impacts of community trauma, family trauma and the trauma and stigma of incarceration. THE FAMILY MATTERS SYSTEM OF CARE CONSORTIUM The SCSD Family Matters Community
Consortium is a monthly gathering of community providers, operating together to foster community connected practice with the intention of building upon our resources to serve and strengthen the families we work with collectively. THE CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOODS PRESCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM This Preschool outreach program provides direct therapeutic services to young children ages birth to six years old, as well as onsite mental health consultation preschools, Head Starts Programs and Day care Centers. POP offers screening and assessments for young children who may need the extra support to build their social and emotional well-being. We work with teachers to identify
classroom strategies for individual students as well as strategies for the classroom environment. GOAL OF CEC The goal of CEC is to help children achieve success in family relationships and the learning environment through thoughtful and collaborative partnerships. We have extensive experience in consultation and training for parents caregivers, teachers, and other early child care providers related to the social and emotional development and needs of young children. STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING OUTCOMES OF CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS Ensuring jail and prison visiting conditions are sensitive to the needs of
children; Offering opportunities for incarcerated parents to increase their parenting capacities to nurture and support their children; Promoting opportunities for positive communication between incarcerated parents and their children where appropriate; and Working to facilitate a parents involvement in his/her childs schooling where appropriate, despite the obstacles inherent in incarceration. Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. Relationship of childhood COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS The most valuable part of the Family Matters program comes from the partnerships that we are able to develop and sustain with community
residents, community agencies & all community based organizations; this includes advocacy groups and justice reform groups. These community relationships are indispensible and effective, but must be nurtured. FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Families agree to participate in the Family Matters Program upon their loved ones request. Family Matters Case Manager conducts a brief family intake.
While the incarcerated individuals are engaged in FM programming , Family Matters staff are meeting with the family member in the community and providing resources and referrals to support when needed. Vicarious Trauma Is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt and feel committed or responsible to help them. Over time this process can lead to changes in your psychological
physical and spiritual wellbeing. Vicarious Incarceration????? Vicarious Incarceration The emotional, physical, and financial toll that incarceration takes on the family has some notable differences from secondary prisonization, thus warranting a new term to describe the phenomenon: vicarious incarceration.* The discussion contextualizes this finding through Ecological Theory and suggests implications for social work practice. *Hart-Johnson, A. (2014). Symbolic imprisonment, grief, and coping theory: African American women with incarcerated mates (Doctoral dissertation) VIDEO: https://youtu.be/zatHOwWBPEI
https://youtu.be/zatHOwWBPEI DRAWING TOOLS FAMILY MATTERS PRIMARY PARTNERS Our primary partners that work with our families from the prevention model. Family Nurturing Center Fathers Uplift The Home For Little Wanderers Family Resource Centers of Suffolk County Community Connections (DCF) BPS Office of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness CPLAN- Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network EDUCATION AND PREPARATION
Participants take part in a 8 week psycho-social educational workshop on the 5 protective factors of strengthening a family and a Men 2 Men discussion group Parenting from Prison, with a primary focus of these factors. Parent resiliency Seeking concrete support in a time of need Knowledge of parenting and child development Understanding the social/emotional needs of the family Building healthy social connections EDUCATION AND PREPARATION While serving their sentences, participants are introduced to: Community Supports that will be made available to them when they re-enter the community. Family Support services that they can begin to engage with along
with their family member while they are serving their sentence. Civic Engagement as a principle understanding your role as a contributing citizen in your community, voter education and the principles of a healthy community. FIVE AREAS OF FOCUS TO INFLUENCE PRACTICE AND POTENTIAL POLICY Education/workforce development dismantling the school to prison pipeline. Mental health and Substance Abuse Parent Engagement/Fatherless factors Housing/Shelter Civic Engagement/Public Safety/Justice Advocacy SYSTEMIC CHANGE IS
DIFFICULT Low Income Fathers and Mothers Face Similar and Significant Barriers Who ultimately faces the collateral consequences???? Evidence Informed Strategies for Success Practice, Measures and Outcomes Reasons for Outcome Focus To demonstrate the agency/ programs impact on fathers, children and families. To wisely use resources (staff time, your clients time,
program dollars) in ways that do the most good. To successfully raise and maintain funding streams. Build respect for the work with fathers and families via the building of standardized evidence. Reduced criminal involvement Measurable REDUCED/INCREASED Reduced unplanned child bearing Outcomes Increased contact with child
Increased participation with mother concerning child rearing Increased employment and earnings Increased education or training Increased formal or informal financial support INCARCERATION INFORMED PRACTICE The Family Matters Advisory Council and System of Care Consortium are embarking on a project to create a series of training opportunities to assist agencies that want to be more accessible and open to formerly incarcerated clients. With this we also want to gauge how prepared agencies are to work with families that are impacted by vicarious incarceration.
We not only feel its a contribution to public safety and a reduction in recidivism, we are also breaking cycles of incarceration. Through partnership. This we have coined as incarceration-informed practices. FAMILY MATTERS THE INITIATIVE (Exercise) Each phases of prevention we are looking to community partnership. Where do you fit in? Would you describe your practice as being incarceration informed? How your agency or discipline engage with Proven risk youth, pupils/ students, youth in foster care, Youth detention center, chronically absent youth Incarcerated population their children and their families Returning Citizens
GOALS IN DEVELOPING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Executive Buy-in: Long Term Sustainability Interagency Collaboration: Cooperative Agreements Community Collaboration: Network of Providers Support Services: Appropriate to the Population Education and Training Marketing Plan: Recruitment Strategy Data and Research: Evaluate Effectiveness
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