May 2008 – For the first time, mentoring vouchers have been distributed to children of prisoners through Caregiver’s Choice. These children are the first of 24,000 children of prisoners who will receive mentoring vouchers over the course of the next three years.
Caregiver’s Choice is a new national program, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, and operated by MENTOR and Dare Mighty Things. It is open to all qualified mentoring agencies, programs, and children from age 4 up to age 18 with incarcerated parent(s) in state or federal facilities. The initiative is designed to connect parents of caregivers with pre-approved high-quality mentoring programs and to financially support the resulting mentoring relationships.
The first two vouchers were released to a family and will be used at Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth, a project of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. “Because of these vouchers, six and seven-year old brothers in Oregon will now be connected to stable adult role models through a mentoring relationship,” said Daniel Schneider, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families.
DMT in partnership with MENTOR, and on behalf of HHS, will work to enroll and equip mentoring programs, identify and enroll eligible children, support subsequent mentoring relationships, and develop the necessary infrastructure to successfully evaluate the program’s efficiency and efficacy. MENTOR and DMT will help establish a national call center to provide families and caregivers with information about the vouchers and direct them to appropriate programs.
Dare Mighty Things continues to lend its mentoring expertise to numerous organizations around the world. Our efforts include the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program (MCP) sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP) among others. DMT provides management consulting, training and technical assistance solutions to government organizations, foundations, and non-profits.