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Safer Society receives grant to improve programs

BRANDON — Safer Society Foundation has received a $2,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small and Inspiring grant program. The grant will help further Safer Society Foundation’s mission of mitigating the impact of parental incarceration on children and families in Vermont.
According to the U.S. Government Office of Juvenile Justice (2013), children with incarcerated parents fare even worse than other at-risk youths on a range of mental and physical health outcomes and educational achievement. In combination with other sources of risk and adversity, parental incarceration increases the likelihood a youth will become involved in antisocial and delinquent behavior, leading to the increased likelihood of incarceration in adulthood.
Central Vermont’s need for a program such as the ChIPs Mentoring & Circles of Support Program — a mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents enhanced by a comprehensive, all-around support system — is undeniable. Underscoring this need is the fact that 6,000 Vermont children every year have at least one parent in jail or prison.
“Our research on the effectiveness of conventional mentoring programs in Vermont shows that they do not provide the long-term commitment and wrap-around services these at-risk youngsters need,” said Executive Director Mary Falcon. “We believe that children of incarcerated parents (ChIPs) need long-term, dependable support — not just one-on-one but many-on-one — to help build the skills and community connections required for them to reach adulthood as productive citizens of their communities rather than burdens and liabilities.”
Through its Small and Inspiring grants program, the Community Foundation hopes to help foster the spark and hope that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy by finding and supporting projects where a small grant can make a big difference.

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