Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $400,000)
The FY 2014 Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers and Their Children: A Reentry Mentoring Project helps ensure that the transition young fathers make from secure confinement facilities back to their families and their communities is successful and promotes public safety. This program will fund mentoring and comprehensive transitional services, emphasizing developing parenting skills, to offenders who are young fathers. The goals of the program are to reduce recidivism among young fathers; improve outcomes for young fathers, their children, and family members; and promote responsible fatherhood. The objectives of this program are to provide young fathers with supportive mentoring and transitional services in both confinement and in the community----based on and matched to their assessed risks and parenting needs----that support their successful reentry.
Friends of Island Academy was has been in operation for 22 years serving young people with an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral curriculum and connecting to services post-release in order to break intergenerational cycles of incarceration by providing support to fathers. The Responsible Fatherhood program provides a strength-based, comprehensive program to promote responsible fatherhood with an emphasis on a father's commitment, support and engagement in the lives of their children. Services and forms of assistance provided to men include: individual counseling, anger management services, court advocacy (child support, visitation and custody matters), domestic violence/batterers intervention services, intensive case management, and informative/educational workshops that focus on parenting skills, conflict resolution/mediation, financial literacy, healthy relationships and life skills and referrals for employment, vocational training, housing and educational services as needed. Friends of Island Academy plans to minimize re-arrest and readmission rates among young fathers, minimize victimization and cycles of incarceration, and increase positive youth development outcomes for young fathers and their children. Step Up will be integrated with Friends' core Youth Advocacy services to provide transitional and post-release neighborhood-based advocacy and case management supports and services.