Ed. note: This blog originally appeared in the ACF Family Room Blog. Read the original post here.
What kinds of services, programs, and activities can assist fathers and their families as they move from prison back to the community? Grantees working with ex-prisoners provide insights as to how to deliver services to these men.
Our recent report from the Urban Institute provides findings from early implementation activities of six grantees: PB&J Family Services, Inc., in New Mexico; Rubicon Programs, Inc. (Rubicon) in California; Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSS); The RIDGE Project, Inc. (RIDGE) in Ohio; Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Inc. (KISRA) in West Virginia; and the New Jersey Department of Corrections’ Office of Drug Programs (NJDOC).
Findings show that:
- Grantees provide services to fathers six to nine months prior to their release, assist with transition planning, and provide services post-release.
- Grantees offer services that include: parenting and relationship classes, financial literacy, domestic violence screening and services, support groups, mentoring, child-parent visits, family activity days, and case management services; including assistance in finding permanent employment, modifying child support obligations, finding housing, and receiving mental health or substance abuse treatment.
- Grantees collaborated with many community organizations, which include state departments of corrections, probation/parole offices, child support enforcement offices, and educational institutions, as well as domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse treatment providers.
This report describes the types of services that grantees currently provide to serve this population. Additionally, it demonstrates that they have the willingness and ability to fine-tune their program offerings and service approaches, consistent with operational lessons learned and feedback from program participants.
Lauren Supplee, Director, Division of Family Strengthening, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation