New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents
More than 2.7 million children currently have a parent in prison or jail. These children interact with multiple systems in communities, including the justice system, the child welfare system, the health care system, and the education system. This collaboration profile is meant to help community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and state and local government agencies that are interested in improving these systems’ responses to the needs of children of incarcerated parents. This collaboration profile describes an example of a successful initiative that brings together organizations from these multiple systems to improve outcomes for children of incarcerated parents.
The New York (NY) Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents partners with government agencies and community- and faith-based organizations to advance policies and practices that meet the needs and respect the rights of children of incarcerated parents (COIP).1
Promising practices used in the collaboration include:
- Using a Systematic Process to Prioritize Goals
- Leveraging Partners for Dissemination and Infusion
- Building Readiness for COIP Data Collection
The collaboration has learned the following lessons during its work:
- Balancing Understanding With a Sense of Urgency
- Sharing Responsibilities with Enthusiastic, Talented Partners
- Struggling With the Lack of Local Data
1 Throughout this profile, we refer to “Children of Incarcerated Parents” or “COIP.” We use this term to refer to children and youth who either currently have, or have previously had, parents incarcerated in prison or jail.