Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $694,937)
Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) proposes to implement the Voices from Afar: Strengthening Connections between Children and Incarcerated Parents program. The purpose is to develop and implement programs and services that foster positive family engagement between incarcerated parents and their minor children and provide a continuum of youth development and mental health supports for children and incarcerated parents. Project activities include: strengthening relationships with correctional facilities through speaking engagements and outreach activities; facilitating trauma-informed trainings for corrections officers; establishing and implementing a multi-modal communication program connecting youth and incarcerated parents utilizing letter-writing, in-person visits, televisitation, and electronic communication; delivering high-quality afterschool programming, summer day camp, mentoring, and mental health services to youth; establishing a peer support group of formerly incarcerated individuals; and establishing a Youth Advisory Council and Parent/Caregiver Advisory Council. Expected outcomes include: development of a multi-pronged strategy to strengthen communications between CPNYC youth participants and incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities; strengthened parent/child relationships; provision of evidence-based youth development and mental health services; increase in protective factors for youth; prevention of future involvement in the juvenile justice system; reduced recidivism among formerly incarcerated parents; and regular program assessments. Children, ages 6 to 17, living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and the South Bronx, and impacted by parental incarceration as well as their incarcerated parent(s) are the intended beneficiaries of the project.