The Georgia Association of Big Brothers Big Sisters (GABBBS) has successfully secured a federal grant award from the Department of Health and Human Services to provide high-quality, one-on-one mentoring to children who have at least one parent that is incarcerated in a state or federal prison.
The award totals $4.5 million over a three-year period and will provide mentoring services to 1,500 children living in 60 Georgia counties.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta will manage the collaboration that includes Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in Macon, Columbus, Savannah, Tifton, and Dalton. The goal of the program is to give children with an incarcerated parent the opportunity to develop a trusting relationship with a supportive, caring adult in a stable environment that can promote healthy values and strong families.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Coastal Empire will receive $435,000.00 over the next three years and we are thrilled to be a participant in this collaboration,” said John L. Kendricks, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Coastal Empire. “We are delighted to be working with the other agencies on this state-wide initiative as many of our children have parents who are incarcerated and would benefit from this specialized program “Kendricks said.
Research has found that a quality, enduring mentoring relationship with a caring adult is a promising intervention for children of prisoners.
The program will help these children become productive citizens by reducing their first-time drug and alcohol use, improving their relationships and academic performance, and reducing the likelihood that they will initiate violence. Referrals will be accepted from any community agency.