Caregiver and Child Perspectives on a Parenting Program for Incarcerated Fathers
In collaboration with men residing in a local state correctional facility, this project seeks to elucidate the experiences of caregivers and children involved in a parenting program for incarcerated fathers. Developed by and for incarcerated men, the fathering program provides fatherhood mentoring and support to incarcerated fathers. As part of the curriculum, fathers and their children engage in structured visits at the facility over the course of several weeks. Children’s caregivers must be willing to have their child visit an incarcerated father and also adjust their schedules so that they can take the children to the prison for scheduled visits.
While the programmatic focus is on fathers and their children, this study seeks to address caregiver involvement and concerns during the program’s duration and upon its completion. Additionally, this research seeks to holistically analyze children’s interpretations of the program. Therefore, the primary aims of this research are as follows: 1) understand caregiver perspectives on, and roadblocks to, successful program engagement, 2) identify caregiver perspectives on children’s participation in the program, and 3) understand programmatic challenges and opportunities for children from their own perspective.
Understanding Client Needs: A Collaboration with The Neighborhood Center
For over 100 years, The Neighborhood Center (TNC) has been working with families in Camden, NJ community. TNC takes a “two generation approach to lifting families out of poverty” (https://www.neighborhoodrising.org/ourmission, 2019). To do this, TNC runs a number of programs to meet the needs of families in the surrounding community including an urban farm, child care program, after-school and teen programs, summer camps and a community kitchen.
This research is a needs assessment of the clients that attend daily community lunch. The study will describe the demographics of the clients at the community lunch and provide information about the needs of these clients including information about accessibility to housing and food preparation equipment that The Neighborhood Center can use to better target services to their clients.