Y-NOW Mentoring Services - Children of Prisoners
It begins with a weekend workshop designed to help youth take a look at their lives — experiences, choices and behaviors — in an attempt to identify what is getting in the way of their success, and achieving their full potential. The workshop is then followed by twelve months of 1:1 mentoring with a thoroughly screened and trained adult who commits to one phone call and one face to face meeting each week.
In addition, structured group meetings are held during the month, along with special activities throughout the year including fundraising, planning a trip, a community service project, a lock-in, and a graduation celebration. Case management ensures that the full complement of needs (youth, family, mentor) is met.
Since 2004, Y-NOW has worked almost exclusively with youth who have a parent incarcerated. The trauma to a child of having an incarcerated parent has been likened to experiencing the death of a loved one, but the grief that the child experiences often goes unnoticed and unacknowledged. It’s common for them to exhibit anxiety, shame, fear, sadness, and guilt. And these inward battles present themselves in anti-social behaviors that have resulted in an alarming profile:
Children of incarcerated parents are at an increased risk of anxiety, depression, aggression, truancy, substance abuse, attention disorders and poor scholastic performance. In fact, studies indicate that children of prisoners are 7 times more likely to become incarcerated themselves one day. Our goal is to break that cycle of incarceration.
Y-NOW Children of Prisoners Year 6 (2009-2010; 12-month program)
|Problem Area||Year Prior||After 12 Months|
|Poor Academic Performance (Grades, Attendance, Behavior)||64%||38%|
|Violent/Aggressive Behavior (Fights, Assaults, Bullying, etc.)||59%||10%|
|Positive In-Home Relationship (Stability, Communication, etc.)||41%||88%|
|Use of Drugs/Alcohol||9%||9%|
|2+ Acts of Physical Violence||45%||9%|
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR Y-NOW CHILDREN OF PRISONERS!
Y-NOW, the mentoring component of YMCA Safe Place Services, has begun recruiting volunteers for our next Children of Prisoners program.
Y-NOW youth participants are 11-15, living in the Louisville metro area, with at least one incarcerated parent. The stigma of having a parent incarcerated means that these youth often feel shame, blame, fear, ridicule, and embarrassment. They often struggle academically, and have a difficult time trusting adults. Studies show that children of prisoners are 7x more likely to become incarcerated themselves one day. We believe these youth deserve a chance to become productive members of our community. But we need your help to break the cycle.
Volunteers support all phases of the Y-NOW program — youth enrollment, Departure, weekend workshop, and Graduation Celebration. Our primary need however is for folks to serve as mentors – listening and providing encouragement, support, and stability so that these youth might begin to create a future that is distinctly different from the past. Volunteering with the Y-NOW program is a great way to gain insight into the lives of today’s youth and to connect with people from all over our community.
Volunteer positions begin April 2013 through April 2014. No experience is needed, just heart and commitment. Training is provided.
For more information, please call Rebecca Hentz at 502-635-4393 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Y-NOW Mentoring Services Director