Advice for Youth from Youth with an Incarcerated Parent Six strategies

1. Look for resources on websites from GOVERNMENT or other TRUSTED organizations.

Find tools, opportunities, and support: http://engage.youth.gov/

2. Reach out for HELP if you need it:

  • Look to a trusted adult such as youth group leader, school counselor, or mentor for help
  • Advocate for help that is relevant to your situation — let them know what you need
  • Ask for help finding a counselor who is experienced with issues of incarceration

Find a mentor: http://www.mentoring.org/get-involved/find-a-mentor/

3. Look for programs that have specific SERVICES for youth with an incarcerated parent and are familiar with your challenges and needs:

  • Look for programs that offer transportation to help you visit your parent
  • Find after-school programs, weekend activities, mentoring, or other programs

Find programs in your sate and across the country: http://nrccfi.camden.rutgers.edu/resources/directory/

4. Find ways to COPE with the challenges of having an incarcerated parent:

  • Get involved with activities like sports or athletics, community service volunteering, etc.
  • Find ways to express yourself like writing, art, music, design, video/filmmaking, etc.

Find ways to get involved: http://www.ymca.net/youth-development/

5. Know that you are NOT ALONE — 2.7 million youth have an incarcerated parent:

  • Find a support group to be able to talk with others going through the same thing

Find a program to join: https://www.bgca.org/programs/teens-young-adults

6. Know there are opportunities to be an ADVOCATE:

  • Channel your emotions (which might include anger and pain) into making a positive change through advocacy
  • Work with organizations to suggest that they include youth with incarcerated parents on planning committees and boards
  • Develop well thought-out messages when requesting change in a policy or procedure that affects you
  • Be part of efforts to create and expand visiting and mentoring programs
  • Advocate for financial backing and funding for effective programs

Find how you can make a difference: http://www.youthmovenational.org/

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