There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. However, the most valuable part of child rearing comes from the founders of that child, its parents. Unfortunately, research has shown that there are over two million children in America who has at least one parent that occupies a correctional facility. Therefore, if one or both parents are missing from the child’s life, then isn’t it the job of the village to adequately provide for them not only physically, but also to ensure the mental regulating of that child?
The idea of raising children is not new. It’s been established since the dawn of the ages when Adam and Eve first decided to procreate. The original arrangement, however, was intended to have both parents there for balance. Whether it is the needed compassion of the mother or the iron fist toughness of the father. In order to compensate for the deficiency of the parent that is absent, a supplement is needed. This compensation comes in the form of a mentoring program. Congress realized this need in 2003 when they established the Public Law 107-133 or the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments.
This program promotes healthy relationship development as well as provides positive role models to children that have fallen victim to losing a parent to the system. For young men it gives them the opportunity to have exposure to learn and develop what is needed to grow into a fine and respectable young man. As opposed to learning it off the streets or from friends who are still trying to figure things out themselves. This program also encourages positive social behavior in young ones. Frankly speaking, there are just some issues that a mother can’t honestly discuss with her growing pre-teen or teenage son because she hasn’t experienced them. For example, what does she know about a sensation that her son may be feeling in his testicle? She has no expertise on this because that is just a body part that she was not born with. Similar too is the father. How can he truly explain to his growing daughter about what it feels like to be a developing female when he’s never experienced the surge of hormones associated with the menstrual cycle? Not only that, but through this mentoring program, it has demonstrated how it encourages youth to lead a positive way of life as opposed to the violent or drug filled life they may have been exposed to previously. Instead of becoming a product of their environment, having a mentor can give these young people a more favorable outlook on life and their ability to succeed in it.
Everyone deserves a fighting chance and the mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents program opens the door to opportunity. This program is a positive tool that will enrich the lives of all those involved both the children as well as the mentors themselves. There is only one way to determine if programs like these are truly successful and that is to experience them in person. To see the positive effects of your influence on a developing youth and see them advance in life is a priceless gift that no amount of money can ever replace.