Our Programs

At each three to four hour Bonding Visit, children and their incarcerated parents sit together in secure rooms and read books, put together puzzles, do arts-and-crafts projects, and play board games — activities structured to encourage conversations, laughter, and hugs. Play mats have been introduced to allow little children to crawl, roll and giggle with their parents. The families also enjoy a family meal and take part in a civics educational activity to, again, create bonding and learning.

Following each visit, our children find stuffed animals awaiting them on the bus. And rather than going straight home, they detour to either a bowling alley or skating rink as a way to ease anxieties from separating again from their incarcerated parents as well as to build community ties with other children in their situation. Trained counselors accompany the children and are available throughout the trips for guidance and support.

Outside of taking children to bonding visits at corrections facilities and providing follow up supports and services for those visits, Children of Inmates supports children year round with opportunities for self exploration, learning, and, of course, fun in our community hobby activities. Throughout the year, our staff organize and facilitate one on one and group activities our children, where they can participate in athletic, artistic and other activities, such as skateboarding, gardening, painting, go kart racing, mini golf, and trampoline jumping to name a few!

In addition to providing children with outlets for fun, new experiences, hobby activities also provide the chance for bonding with other children who have experienced the difficulties and loss in having a parent incarcerated, reminding children they are not alone, and with the opportunity for care coordination with our staff. During down time at our hobby activities, staff work with children to make sure they have supplies and supports they need for school, food at home, medical care and other critical supports. Hobby activities are critical avenues for healing, support and a great time for our children.