Kids Need Moms
Florence Crane Womens Correctional Facility
38 Fourth Street
Coldwater, MI 49036
More than 80% of incarcerated women have a child who is left motherless. The emotional turmoil caused by incarceration is inconceivable. Usually, the child is left with a caretaker outside of their home. The sense of loss and instability goes unaddressed by the system.
We established the Kids Need Moms program to meet the needs of the children with incarcerated mothers. Monthly visits stabilize the relationship between mother and child. The bond between them is enhanced. Visits provide the mother an opportunity to involve herself in her childs life on a consistent and structured basis. Program activities teach the mother skills to creatively and productively engage and utilize time with her child.
The goal of the Kids Need Moms program is to provide the incarcerated mother an opportunity to maintain her parental responsibilities. We teach the mother skills that will help her reintegrate into her family.
"Sometimes I feel like a motherless child "
A child deprived of a mother loses all sense of direction, security, and love. It is almost impossible to imagine the emotional scarring which takes place or the possible ramifications. It does not matter whether the loss is permanent or temporarythe result is the same.
When mothers are incarcerated, the children serve a harsher sentence. Their world of stability and security is shattered, leaving them angry and afraid.
The Kids Need Moms program helps children through this traumatic experience with a program designed to develop and enhance the mother-child relationship.
"KNM is implementing a plan that will enable these children to spend quality time with their mothers "
A survey conducted at Florence Crane Womens Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan, indicates that at least 500 children have mothers incarcerated there.
Of those children, 45% have never been able to visit their mothers. KNM is implementing a plan that will enable these children to spend "quality time" with their mothers, thus retaining a sense of family unity.
It has been suggested that prisoner mothers experience their children as a primary motivation to self-rehabilitation. Outside studies have further shown that most juvenile delinquents have at least one parent who is, or has been, an inmate with the correctional system.
Child development classes, family counseling, and structured visits form the nucleus of the program.
KNM is an impressive and unique group of individuals united behind a common goal of helping children who feel motherless. Our goal is to develop an all-encompassing community support system that allows everyone to be an integral part of making KNM a success.
"Children need hugging, kissing, and other physical expressions of love"
The playroom provides the therapeutic center for constructive, non-threatening interaction between mother and child. Structured "playtime" helps children express feelings, learn decision-making processes, develop appropriate social skills, and strengthen the family bond.
Children need hugging, kissing, and other physical expressions of love to develop their self worth and security. Such affectionate interaction will be fostered in the environment.
All of the services by KNM come together in the PLAYROOM, enabling mother and child to maintain family continuity.
KNM would like to work closely with the local service agencies to obtain the necessary cooperation from legal guardians, temporary foster parents, and other caretakers of the children.
The facility survey also indicated that lack of transportation was the major reason that children were unable to visit their mothers. KNM plans to resolve this problem to some extent with cooperation from the childrens caretakers, and community volunteers.
KNM would like to provide regularly scheduled mass transportation to and from pre-designated areas in various communities. Our goal is to implement a system of monthly visits, with volunteer drivers supplying transportation to the facility.
Obtaining contributions of volunteer time, childrens toys and games appropriate furnishings, and money is an ongoing effort to maintain the operational function of KNM. It is necessary to form a congenial rapport with local businesses, citizens, large companies, and other interested groups to assist us in providing the kind of "quality" program that insures healthy family bonding.
Mothers will be required to participate in Child Development classes as a foundation for productive child visits. These classes will teach skills in the areas of discipline, coping with stress, and creating "quality time" which is necessary to parent-child bonding.
Family Guidance and Counseling
Trained professionals, working with an in-house director, will provide individual guidance counseling for both mother and children.
Each unique family situation will be handled on an individual basis. It is hoped that this approach will provide the impetus needed for the development of a positive family unit.
When children are involved, no amount of precautionary work can be overlooked. We are looking for interested volunteer attorney assistance for this important work. We need assistance in overcoming many legal aspects of developing and maintaining this type of program.
Kids Need Moms
We Need You
A program such as KNM depends upon support of individuals who will volunteer their time and volunteer to be committed to the program. We need community liaisons who are willing to help address issues and to promote community support to help us implement a successful program. We also need trained professionals willing to volunteer time on Saturdays. We need help in transporting the children and we need help in outside fundraisers.
If you are interested in more information, please contact:
Florence Crane Womens Facility
38 Fourth Street
Coldwater, MI 49036