What Are Kids Left With When Parents Go To Prison?

It’s already difficult enough to raise children when two parents are in the picture, imagine what it would be like to be a single parent, or worse off what would happen if a parent ends up in prison.

Currently, there are millions upon millions of American youths who have at least one incarcerated parent. Many of these children deal with psychological issues ranging from depression, PTSD, anxiety and other mental health abnormalities. Brooklyn-based Children of Promise is one charitable organization that is trying to help one family at a time. As it stands, the Pew Charitable Trusts, estimates that more 2.7 million children had a parent in prison in 2009, which is 3.6% of all kids in the U.S. population. This is a substantial jump from 0.8% in 1980. The psychological effects that this has on children has not been
widely and many outreach programs only focus on mentoring tools, not mental health practices. Children of Promise has been around since 2006 and has been working to create a sustainable after-school and summer program in Brooklyn that offers recreational activities and a mental health clinic for local children with a parent in prison. To date, Children of Promise has provided support for more than 1,000 children and their families with the help of government grants, personal donations from individuals and companies, including an endorsement from the Brooklyn Nets.One of the primary treatments in the clinic is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This
form of therapy helps children and their parents to identify triggers that incite strong emotional reactions and negative behavior in order to catch it head-on and redirect it. As of 2012, the program has run a licensed outpatient health clinic for families it helps. It offers family counseling, group therapy and when necessary medication.

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