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Multi-Faceted Programs
Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind

The grassroots Arkansas Voices effort was founded “to advocate for children left behind by incarceration or loss of a parent for any reason and to provide mentoring, services and supports for the children, their caregivers, and incarcerated parents, with the goal of strengthening and empowering the family unit.” Arkansas Voices administers to the holistic needs of children by helping them receive counseling to deal with the trauma from witnessing their parent being taken from the home. The group is dedicated to helping children overcome the shame and stigma of having a parent incarcerated.

Toward these ends, Arkansas Voices provides the following services:

  • Parenting classes in jail and at the Arkansas State Hospital Forensic Unit

  • Development of co-parenting agreements between incarcerated parents and the caregivers of the children

  • Support groups and services for kinship caregivers

  • School-based services for children whose lives have been impacted by incarceration of a parent, relative or other significant person; children with a parent returning home; and children of incarcerated parents in the foster care system

  • Reunification and re-entry services for prisoners and their families

  • Education about the consequences of risky behavior, including drug and alcohol use and unprotected sex

  • Family literacy services, including financial literacy and health literacy

  • Referrals to services and supports provided by the State and the community

  • Advocacy for children in foster care who have an incarcerated parent

  • Advocacy for relative caregivers of another family member’s children and for relatives seeking to stay engaged with their relative's children in foster care (Grandparents Left Behind)

  • Community Resource Development and collaborations on behalf of these children, youth and families including the Arkansas Family Re-Entry Coalition, Arkansas Bill of Rights for Children of the Incarcerated and Other Policy Initiatives, Arkansas Restorative Justice Coalition, and the Coalition to Ban the Shackling of Incarcerated, Birthing Mothers.

Contact: Dee Ann Newell, Executive Director, deeann@arkansasvoices.org

Website: www.arkansasvoices.org

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