Since FY08, the Institute for Municipal & Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University has been receiving annual funding from the Connecticut General Assembly to administer competitive grants for providing positive interventions for at-risk youth whose parent(s) and/or family members have been incarcerated. The IMRP continually seeks to gain an additional understanding of these children and their service-needs through research, evaluation and outreach activities. As-such, the IMRP, in collaboration with several faculty members from Board of Regents’ major public Universities, as well as other Universities, is evaluating the effectiveness of direct care services in alleviating negative responses to parental incarceration and improving the positive attributes of CIP. The mission for the CIP Initiative is to improve the quality of supports for children with incarcerated parents by using the various data and knowledge it gains to inform public policy and practice.
CIP INITIATIVE’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES
In May of 2014, the CIP Initiative instated seven Guiding Principles. They were developed from careful analysis of the Initiative’s funded programs, knowledge gained through review of what is being done nationally, and frequent communication with experts in the ﬁeld. The IMRP intends to consider these principles as the Initiative continues to expand its work.
1. Practices should be designed speciﬁcally with CIP needs in mind
2. Include CIP and their families in the process of program development, implementation, and evaluation
3. The relationship between the child and the incarcerated parent should be supported
4. Programs should reach children and families to get “self-referrals”
5. Stigma and isolation associated with incarceration should be reduced
6. Emphasis on connections, collaborations and coordination among agencies and community partners
7. Evaluation and accurate data are critical for identifying evidence-supported practices