Children of Incarcerated Parents

Funding Opportunity: Youth Participatory Action Research with Children of Incarcerated Parents

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have issued a Call for Research Proposals to advance youth participatory action research (YPAR) on issues affecting children and youth who have or have had an incarcerated parent (COIP) in order to improve practices and support policymakers and practitioners in this field. The proposed research should engage youth with this experience as full partners in doing the research and disseminating the results. 

Selected projects are required to:

  • Demonstrate meaningful youth engagement in the research process;
  • Focus on issues faced by children and youth who have or have had an incarcerated parent as defined by those with lived experience of such;
  • Demonstrate substantive contribution to the field of COIP;
  • Compensate youth fairly for their time;
  • Constitute new, original work, to be submitted to a professional conference, submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and submitted as a research brief to be published on; and
  • Be presented by youth and the lead researcher at a virtual meeting of federal staff, sponsored by the Interagency Working Group.

Two (2) researchers will receive a contract of up to $50,000. This amount includes travel expenses to a professional conference where researchers will present their work. Researchers may use no more than $5,000 for travel expenses.

Download the RFP for more information (PDF, 9 pages).

Download the list of questions and answers (PDF, 4 pages). 

All research proposals must be submitted via electronic mail to Juliette-Marie deSousa at AIR at no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Award notifications will be made via email on Friday, January 8, 2021.

Archived Webinar: The Benefits and Importance of Using YPAR with Youth with Incarcerated Parents

This webinar discussed the variety of roles youth may hold and the importance of leveraging developmental relationships while conducting Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). This webinar is especially useful for researchers who conduct YPAR working with youth who have or have had an incarcerated parent.

Resource: Mentoring for Preventing and Reducing Substance Use and Associated Risks among Youth

This review takes stock of the research that addresses the potential for mentoring to serve as a strategy for preventing and reducing substance use and the negative effects on personal health and well-being that may stem from this behavior.

Resources: Three New Guides for Families Experiencing the Criminal Justice System

This three-part guide series covers a family’s unique journey through the stages of a loved one’s involvement in the justice system.

Resource: Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents: Implementing the Model Arrest Policy Archived Webinar

This 90-minute webinar highlighted the Model Arrest Policy implementation and is recommended for law enforcement staff, probation officers, social services staff, youth serving organizations, and researchers.

Just Beginning Fatherhood

The Just Beginning Fatherhood program is designed for noncustodial fathers, particularly those in juvenile or criminal justice facilities, to build and strengthen the relationship between fathers and their children.


We spoke with Yasmine at the AIR studio in August 2018.

Yasmine is 24 years old. She founded and currently leads ScholarCHIPS to provide support to youth who have an incarcerated parent and reduce the shame and stigma. As the child of an incarcerated parent, she believes in empowering youth to reach their potential through mentorship and guidance.

Just Launched! Redesigned YE4C

The Youth Engaged 4 Change website has a fresh, new look with content that continues to inspire and empower young people to improve their lives and the world around them.

National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated

This website provides a range of information and resources to assist children and families of the incarcerated, including:

  • research publications,
  • training materials,
  • fact sheets,
  • frequently asked questions documents,
  • and more.