Research shows that children of incarcerated parents not only suffer the relational loss of a parent, but experience economic and social challenges that result from incarceration. During the past two decades, the number of children with an incarcerated parent has increased significantly. This includes a group of fathers who themselves are under the age of 21, often coming from households where there is an incarcerated parent or an absent father figure. Thus, they have had very little opportunity to understand father-child relationships or learn parenting skills. The Youth Law Center and Georgetown University's Early Learning Project collaborated and developed the Baby Elmo Program. The program is taught and supervised by probation staff in juvenile detention facilities and consists of structured visitation and parent training using Sesame Beginning videos. The program has not only increased and bettered the relationships between parents and their children but has also positively changed the environment of the correctional facilities. On this episode of Spotlight on Youth guests will discuss the development of the program and its implementation and successes to date.
Rachel Barr, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University
Bryan T. Forrest, Facility Intervention Administrator, Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, DYS
Benjamin Richeda, Special Projects Manager, Youth Law Center
Francois Smith, Youth Specialist/Trainer, Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, DYS