Friends for Youth part of MCP National Advisory Board

My name is Becky Cooper and I am Executive Director of Friends for Youth.  This year we began working with Friends Outside, an organization that assists the families of people who are incarcerated.  Through Friends Outside, we provide mentoring services to children of prisoners who need a supportive adult in their lives.  I am excited that as a result of our collaboration, I was recently appointed to the Mentoring Children of Prisoners National Advisory Board of Directors. The purpose of the Board is to provide feedback and insight into emerging trends and issues in the field of mentoring children of prisoners.

Approximately 2 million children and youth in the U.S. have at least one incarcerated parent. In addition to suffering disruption in the relationship with their parent, these young people often struggle with the economic, social, and emotional burdens of the incarceration. Data indicate that mentoring programs can help these youth by reducing their first-time drug and alcohol use, improving their relationships and academic performance, and reducing the likelihood that they will initiate violence.

Congress established the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program through the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments and the Family and Youth Services Bureau began funding mentoring projects in 2003.

I am looking forward to working with Advisory Board colleagues to build ongoing positive practices to benefit this special population of children and youth.


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