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Children with an incarcerated parent or caregiver face greater risks, barriers, and challenges than those fortunate enough to live in a more stable family environment. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office created the Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth (COPY) program to provide support and assistance to the children of inmates, giving them a more equal opportunity to succeed.
The Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth connects children of incarcerated parents with safe and appropriate adult mentors. The goal is to establish a positive and healthy bond with an adult outside of the child’s home.
Each mentoring experience is unique. COPY staff interview both prospective volunteers and children about their skills, interests, activities, and backgrounds. Some mentors become involved with academic assistance, helping with reading or writing skills. Other relationships allow a child to participate in activities they might not otherwise be able to such as sports, cultural activities, or just talking over pizza or a movie. Program staff assist volunteers in establishing relationship goals, working through challenges, and setting up additional community