Providing support, services and resources to children with a currently or formerly incarcerated parent (or parental figure). Priority is given to children of parents currently enrolled in, or graduated from one or more of Osborne’s programs.
Over 100,000 children in New York State have a parent currently in prison or jail. Osborne’s Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS) believes that with support, children with incarcerated parents can succeed and fulfill their potential just as all children can with support, and that they are not and should not be defined or limited by their parents’ choices. CYFS supports children with a currently or formerly incarcerated parent to overcome stigma and isolation by offering a strengths-based, non-judgmental, child-friendly environment, along with support, various services, and resources tailored to these children’s unique needs and perspectives.
Our services and approach are grounded in the research-supported belief that children do better when their primary relationships are supported and nurtured. Through a family-focused approach, we aim to strengthen children’s relationships with both their incarcerated parent and their current caregiver. This creates a more secure base from which they can navigate adolescence and young adulthood. Building positive peer support is also a critical element of our services: children with incarcerated parents often feel isolated and alone, bearing the heavy burden of judgment and stigma related to their parent’s choices. Our services aim to lift this weight and reduce isolation by fostering connections among youth, who can support one another in powerful ways.
Support: We offer individualized service planning and support to a core group of children at a time, while connecting them with outside resources and services that will continue to support them as we transition them out of our core caseload (after one year.)
Monthly Activities: Sponsored by St. James’ Episcopal Church, youth ages 5 through 21 participate in fun, recreational group activities once a month. Selected field trips include bowling, pottery making, ice skating, pumpkin and apple picking, cooking classes, picnics, and more!
Family Ties Program: Family Ties is a program for children ages 3 months to 21 years whose mothers are incarcerated at Albion Correctional Facility. For more information on Family Ties, visit: link to family ties page
Video Visiting: Video Visiting is an innovative partnership with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision which enables children to video visit with their incarcerated parent from Osborne’s NYC offices. For more information and locations for video visiting, click here.
Prison Day Trips: Children who are enrolled in one or more of our above youth programs can participate in day prison trips to visit their incarcerated parents. We visit Bayview, Beacon, Bedford Hills, Eastern, Fishkill, Greenhaven, Sing Sing, Shawangunk, Sullivan, Taconic, Wallkill, and Woodbourne. These visits are powerful as they allow youth to build or maintain attachments, bond, and really get to know their parent beyond letters and phone calls.
Youth Action Council (YAC): is a semester-long youth leadership program for youth ages 15 to 18 aimed at developing self-confidence and leadership skills of young people whose parents are, or have been, incarcerated. To learn more, click here.
Youth Experience Success! (YES!): provides weekly group workshops for youth ages 13 to 16 years whose parent is, or has been, incarcerated to increase knowledge and self-awareness, build skills and encourage behavior change that will allow participants to meet the four program goals. To learn more, click here.
For more information on our Children, Youth, and Family Services, contact:
Program Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services