Kids With Parents In Jail Series: Skip, Inc.
"Save Kids of Incarcerated Parents" or SKIP, Inc. works through public awareness, advocacy, collaboration and research to help children cope when their parents are in jail.
Founded by Mrs. Gloria Jean Canty-Williams in 1976, SKIP was incorporated in Florida in 1980. Since then SKIP has developed chapters in several states to "provide support services to children of incarcerated parents and their families and to increase public awareness."
While researching this series, I found this organization and quickly became a fan when I read how important kids were to them. SKIP views kids as our future, and takes steps to help those kids who need the extra support. What I particularly like about SKIP is their desire to build self-esteem in kids who desperately need it when a parent goes to jail. Instead of kids feeling alone, isolated, worthless, or angry, SKIP offers counseling to work through the anger, and a peer mentor program called "Kids Helping Kids", but, they don't stop there.
SKIP has an educational and enrichment program that recognizes how important it is for kids to develop skills such as problem solving, and they work with kids to learn the basics of communication--verbal and in writing. For older kids, they help them through the maze of career development. Kids learn what work ethics are, how to fill out job applications, and ways to continue their education. When you consider that kids with incarcerated parents are five times more likely to commit a crime than their peers, an organization like SKIP is sorely needed.
If you want to know more about their programs, to volunteer if they have a chapter near you, donate, or even start a chapter, check them out at skipinc.org/. We need more good things like SKIP.
Next week, I will provide a list of the books that are available for kids.
Kids--all kids--are our future, and it's up to us to determine what that future will be.