To inspire hope in children of  incarcerated mothers and fathers, to help the children become successful adults, to strengthen their families and to share our considerable experience with communities worldwide to do the same.

Expanding Our Reach

Since 1987, Foreverfamily has been working directly with children and families of imprisoned parents, and during this time, we’ve developed an impressive track record. Nearly 97% of our graduates say they have fulfilling and productive lives—which stands in stark comparison to the experience of most children of incarcerated parents, who are seven times more likely than other children to end up in prison themselves.

How do we achieve this remarkable result? On one level, it’s very simple: we surround all our children with the love of family. But to realize this seemingly simple goal has taken hard work. Over the last two decades we have built a sophisticated, tested and robust programmatic model that has proven to significantly reduce the impact of parental incarceration on children. The core of our model rests on our core belief that, even in the context of incarceration, family bonds must be safeguarded for the good of the child, the parent, the family, and the community.

In the past, maintaining a loving relationship between an inmate and his or her children has been seen as a privilege. Not only does Foreverfamily insist that it is a right, we also insist that it is the right thing to do.

Having pioneered a solution to this growing national issue, Foreverfamily is now looking to share what we have learned with others throughout the country who wishes to work on behalf of families of the incarcerated.

Based on our success and national reputation in providing targeted services to this special population, foundations like the Annie E. Casey Foundation—along with a number of churches, faith-based organizations, local nonprofits and community residents—have committed to helping Foreverfamily take its programming model with others across the nation.

Drawing upon our two decades of experience, Foreverfamily is approaching these communities offering training and technical assistance so that communities can incorporate our model into their existing work. Foreverfamily hosts a Practitioners’ Institute which allows people who work on the front lines to learn from others in the field. This conference is held every two to three years and has a modest registration fee.

For communities who are interested in using Foreverfamily’s model, we are using a phased approach:

Phase 1: Exploration. Foreverfamily meets with community leaders to discuss their needs and help them organize a step-by-step process for creating a child-centered response.

Phase 2: Coalition building. Foreverfamily and interested parties carry out workshops focused on the theme of sustainable, child-centered support. As we assess the potential for an emergent coalition, we discuss how to begin this work and secure initial funding.

Phase 3: Community organizing. Foreverfamily helps local leaders as they create a network of support within their communities. With this in place, we help local leaders shape the program according to the community’s needs.

Phase 4: Program launch. Forever Family provides technical assistance and ongoing support for interested local individuals and organizations to establish these services—either within an existing organization or as a new, independent program. Organizations can decide to become an affiliate of Foreverfamily or pick and choose the technical assistance and resources they need to supplement their own work.

For each phase, we provide a toolkit to guide the leaders of the newly-forming program through key processes such as securing funds, cultivating and sustaining the coalition, community needs assessment, and organizational design. We also provide direct support through onsite training and workshops, as well as ongoing remote technical assistance.

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