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More than 15,000 Miami-Dade County children have parents in jail or in state or Federal prisons -- parents whose actions have left their children with a confusing and uncertain example of what it means to be an adult. Incarceration has severe unseen consequences for families and children.
Research shows that children of incarcerated parents are much more likely than other children to become delinquent and to engage in antisocial behaviors. The Service Team for Children of Inmates intends to assure that children with an incarcerated parent will have opportunities to be cared for and supported in their development by responsible adults, helping professionals, and others in their communities.
A multi-skilled, multidisciplinary team proposes:
- To identify the children of inmates in need of support and link them with appropriate helping organizations and services.
- To strengthen bonds between children and their caregivers, including the incarcerated parent(s) when appropriate, by providing support groups and hosting letter writing nights.
- To mitigate childhood trauma caused by the arrest of parents by engaging law enforcement, social services, and the public in understanding the needs of children.
- To increase the likelihood of successful reunification with incarcerated parents by supporting communication with parents while they are incarcerated.
- To raise community awareness and knowledge through advocacy for children of inmates and their needs.
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