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Working with Children & Families. Dallas, TX February 5 & 6, 2010 Amanda Phillips, LGSW. Matching Game. Name Were are you from? Agency? How long have you been working with families? Hobbies? Who is going to win the Super Bowl? Briefly describe a family that has really IMPACTED you.

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working with children families

Working with Children & Families

Dallas, TX

February 5 & 6, 2010

Amanda Phillips, LGSW

matching game
Matching Game
  • Name
  • Were are you from? Agency?
  • How long have you been working with families?
  • Hobbies?
  • Who is going to win the Super Bowl?
  • Briefly describe a family that has really IMPACTED you.
what to expect today
What to Expect Today
  • Dynamics of MCP Families
  • Best Practices for supporting MCP Families & Children
  • Best Practices to share with Mentors
what do your mcp families look like
What Do your MCP Families look like?
  • Social Economic Status? (SES)
  • Living Situation (Trailer, Apartment, House, Condo)
  • Who lives in the home?
  • Primary caregiver of the Mentee?
the culture of poverty
The Culture of Poverty
  • Between 2000 and 2007, the number of poor Latino children increased by 960,000 (to 4.5 million) and the number of poor Black children increased by 323,000 (to 3.9 million).*
  • The Controversial Issue**
    • Liberals Vs. Conservatives Opinions
    • Most Often, there is no sign of hope
    • Sometimes think only day-to-day
    • Lack of resources

* Children’s Defense Fund- Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign, 2008

* *SudhirVenkatesh, a professor of sociology at Columbia University

promising solutions
Promising Solutions
  • Harlem Children’s Zone*
  • This past spring, 100 percent of the third-graders at HCZ Promise Academy II scored at or above grade level in the statewide math tests. A few blocks away, 100 percent of the Promise Academy I third-graders were at or above grade level.
  • In 2009, the chess program served 106 children throughout HCZ who went on to win 78 trophies.
  • The Family Support Center Served 154 families from ‘08-09. 99% stayed intact, and 100% received counseling (family, individual or group)

single parent homes
Single-Parent Homes
  • Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and 16% of custodial parents are fathers
  • 27.7% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty
  • 44% have two or more children living with them*

*United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005. By Timothy S. Grall. Census, 2007. 17 Mar. 2008

grandparents raising grandchildren
Grandparents raising Grandchildren
  • More than 6 million children are being raised by grandparents…71% of these grandparents are under the age of 60*
  • HALF of all children with incarcerated mothers are cared for by grandparents**
  • Nearly TWO THIRDS of children of prisoners being raised by single grandmothers live in poverty…**



impact of incarceration on families
Impact of Incarceration on families
  • Housing: Shift in living arrangements
  • Emotional: trauma & sense of loss (regardless of safety concerns)
  • Economic: most parents bring money in prior to incarceration
  • Strain on Family Relationships
  • Social & Community stigma
  • Legal consequences
impact of incarceration on children
Impact of Incarceration on Children
  • A 1998 national study estimated that of the parents arrested:
    • 67% were handcuffed in front of their children
    • 27% reported weapons were drawn
    • 4.3% reported a physical struggle
    • 3.2% reported the use of pepper spray
possible developmental effects of parental incarceration on children
Possible Developmental Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children
  • Early Childhood (2-6)
    • Inappropriate separation anxiety
    • Impaired socio-emotional development
    • Acute traumatic stress reactions
  • Middle Childhood (7-10)
    • Developmental regressions
    • Poor self-concept
    • Acute traumatic stress reactions
    • Impaired ability to overcome future traumas
  • Early adolescence (11-14)
    • Rejection of limits on behavior
    • Trauma-reactive behaviors
  • Late adolescence (15-18)
    • Premature termination of dependence on parents
    • Intergenerational crime and incarcerations

Adapted from K.Gable & D. Johnston, 1997

echoes of incarceration
Echoes of Incarceration
  • Youth-produced documentary project focusing on impact of the prison system on children through CUNY Graduate Program in December 2009 
how to find community resources
How to find Community Resources
  • Outpatient services available
  • Attend local advocacy meetings for children & Families
  • Learn about re-entry programs in your community
  • Local United Way
  • Learn about local financial assistance
ways to help
Ways to help
  • An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers
    • Advocating for children & Caregivers
    • Provide training for all staff
    • Mental Health Needs of child/Caregiver
      • PTSD treatment/CBT
      • Grief counseling
      • Attachment issues
      • Chemical Dependency issues
      • Self-esteem/social stigmas/peer support
good ideas for case managers support staff
Good Ideas for Case Managers/Support Staff
  • Getting to know the MCP families
    • Intakes at the home
    • Possible support groups
    • Assist in relaying information about resources
    • Trained in recognizing mental health needs
    • Maintain great support to Mentors during match
helpful tips to mentors
Helpful Tips To Mentors
  • Check in with Caregivers
  • Let Mentee know you are comfortable talking about their parent’s incarceration
  • Listen for the Mentee’s feelings
  • Make a list, journal
  • Mail letters with Mentee
  • Respect if the child chooses not to have contact
mentor tips
Mentor Tips
  • Everyone has a limit…
mentor tips1
Mentor Tips

Uncomfortable time in your life, or a situation you don’t tell many people…something you are not proud of about yourself.

  • Sharing personal information about your Mentee or his family is a violation of trust, and against the law
  • Confidentiality should be broken if:
    • Physical or sexual abuse
    • Involvement in criminal act
    • Threaten to harm themselves, or others
mentor tips2
Mentor Tips
  • Discussion of letters (from a Mentor’s P.O.V.)
helpful online resources
Helpful Online Resources
contact me
Contact Me:

Amanda Phillips, LGSW

IMPACT Family Counseling

MCP Director

1000 24th St. S.

Birmingham, AL 35205

Office: 205-916-0123

Cell: 205-240-9744