The Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network held a roundtable in November 2003 to discuss best practices for strengthening families separated by parental incarceration. Participants reviewed national trends and examined the components of state initiatives designed to reduce recidivism and alleviate the negative impact of parental incarceration on children. Emphasis was placed on improving parenting skills and nurturing parent-child relationships. This final report summarizes the challenges identified by programs, such as the lack of family stability, limited parenting skills, child support enforcement, and punitive systems. Several model programs are described, including a faith-based project to promote community involvement with families affected by parental incarceration, a local reintegration service that focuses on employment and family relationships, strategies for facilitating child support payments, and visitation programs. 3 tables.
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