We know that families often "do the time" with the offender. This is reflected in the lack of attention, earning power, and support from the incarcerated individual. This is also evident in all the missed events and "moments" in the lives of loved ones, most especially the children. Listed below are helpful information, resources, and links to assist families while your loved one is incarcerated, and when they return home.
Resources During Tough Financial Times
The normal events of the week can be enough of a struggle—getting the kids off to school, paying the bills, making sure you have dinner on the table, and lots of things in between. But when times are tough or you’re facing unexpected expenses, caring for your family’s needs can seem overwhelming. Use these tips from USA.gov’s special Help for Difficult Financial Times section to find resources from the government that can make things a little easier:
- If you’re having trouble with housing expenses, it’s important to be able to spot scams and know how you can avoid foreclosure before it happens. There are also a variety of programs to help you stay in your home or find a temporary place to live.
- We all want healthy and happy families, but emergencies can come out of nowhere. Even if you don’t have insurance, your family can still get medical care, including health care options in your local community.
- It can be hard to leave your little ones at daycare while you go off to work or are job hunting. USA.gov has resources to help make this tough decision easier, helping you decide what type of child care you can afford and what kind of environment is best for your children.
- Your kids can help the family save money too. Use these fun comics from Kids.gov to explain to kids of all ages how some simple chores and tasks can save your family money over time. Educating your kids about saving money while they’re young can help them better understand finances for the rest of their lives.
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (U.S. Department of Health-Human Services)
Searchable database of the Texas Attorney General - Child Support Office providing organizations, programs, and resources to assist with shared parenting, vitiation, access, mediation, legal services for visitation enforcement, etc. (searched by category and county of residence).
Parental Rights of the Incarcerated (Reentry Mythbusters, Council of State Governments)
Opening Doors for Women in Need (Fort Worth)
U.S. Dept. HHS/Administration for Children and Families (Region 6)
As a new school year approaches, check out USA.gov's Back to School page for important resources and tips, including information on:
- Low-cost meal programs
- Free or low-cost health coverage
- Helping your child with homework
- The importance of good nutrition
CHILDREN OF PRISONERS
Amachi Texas is one program within Big Brothers Big Sisters, which focuses on mentoring children of incarcerated family members, including family members who are on parole or probation.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Texas is the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency in the world. As a donor-supported volunteer youth mentoring organization, our program has been placing caring adults in the lives of children in one-to-one mentoring relationships since 1927. Through the positive impact of those friendships, children with a Big Brother or Big Sister are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to begin using drugs, begin using alcohol or engage in negative conflict.
Administration for Children and Families (U.S. Department of Health-Human Services)
Child Support Information
Here's a great one page summary document from the Bureau of Prisons about Child Support Practices with Inmates that Improve Outcomes.