THREE TRACK PROCESS

When working with an incarcerated popluation we conduct a rigorous Passport Selection Process which filters the men who fit our criteria.  We want to create an atmosphere conducive to family strengthening and relational healing using certified Family Coaches and evidence-based training methodologies.

Track #1 -- The Family Healing Conversation is primarily focused on enhancing the father's emotional connection, his protective spirit and his willingness to provide for his children. Family Coaches meet with each inmate privately, identifying 14 potential areas of child-rearing agreement. Next, the Coach meets with the mother privately, and may finally meet with both parents together. The goal is to secure a comprehensive, signed Co-parenting Agreement which guides the ongoing decisions about child-rearing. In addition, other tools are employed to stabilize and strengthen the father's emotional well-being. Secondly, we prepare the inmate to search for and successfully secure a legal income upon release.

Track # 2 -- Secondly, we prepare the inmate to search for and successfully secure a legal income upon release.  The Job Readiness Predictor  is our system for assessing these men on their skills and personality traits using validated instruments designed by professional authorities. The Skilldex tool classifies over 6,000 skills in 43 employment categories on a 1-4 proficiency scale. The Winslow Assessment measures 24 personality traits, on a 1-10 scale, which are essential to personal success and career advancement. From these tools, we produce detailed reports for each man in our cohort. We comb through local employer databases, looking for those places willing to interview formerly incarcerated men. A JOB TASK ANALYSIS is created on each job offered by each employer. The Department of Labor also has numerous task analyses which we use. By comparing the inmate's qualifications to the employer's needs, we create a Gap Analysis, successfully recommending which inmates are most suitable for which jobs. Before release, using our video visitation technology, inmates speak with selected employers who interview these men from the comfort of their office desktop computer or tablet. The goal is to make this process simple, transparent and above-board. Employers are increasingly viewing the FRN as a respected, external, human resource team which sends pre-qualified, suitable men for interviews. 

Track # 3 -- Our third track is the Integrated Case Management Process. We provide government agencies, such as Child Support Enforcement, Foster Care officials, and Probation/Parole officers with an efficient and cost-saving means to communicate with their constituents. The ICMP neatly divides into two services – a pre-incarceration alternative sentencing method and a post-release method for paying social debt. For example, when used as a diversion technique, the ICMP attempts to get the attention of a man who is at risk of incarceration for failure to pay child support. We use the first two processes, described above, to keep him out of jail. If he cooperates, all is well. Alternative sentencing, when combined with powerful tools like ours, has a 90% success rate in closing cases and sparing the public the cost of imprisonment. When ICMP is used for those emerging from jail, our video communications system allows government officials to speak with their incarcerated "clients". Our constituents are making voluntary, independent paymetns to reduce their Child Support arrears.  We hear remarkable reports of difficult cases being solved simply by opening up lines of communication unavailable until now. When needed, a Fatherhood Coach is assigned to serve as a mediator with all government agencies and employers while the Returning Father gets back on his feet.

 

COMMUNICATION

As mentioned, we find it essential to use modern technologies to bridge the immense communication gap between fathers and their children, their case officers and their Coaches. Therefore we searched for and found a video conferencing backbone, provided by HomeWav, to support the process. The local penal institution will be supplied with several Home Wav video visitation systems at absolutely no charge for equipment or installation. Other video cabinets and/or software will be provided to faith leaders and government officials in the community for use by FRN families and interested agencies. Each of the three FRN processes described above depends on high quality, simple communication for a full implementation of our Family Restoration Network. Because of the sophisticated and secure software, government agencies can simply communicate with prisoners through laptops, smartphones and tablets.

To avoid an adversarial relationship later on, a Child Support Enforcement officer may want to speak with a prisoner prior to his release to establish a professional line of dialogue. Instead of the hassle of driving to the jail, going through security, waiting for the prisoner to appear at a window and then returning to her office, a CSE officer can simply make an appointment with an inmate, conduct a productive, five-minute video-based call while sitting at her desk, and immediately continue working. This is highly efficient, saving on time and money, while building good relations with the individual prior to his release. Many other applications are being found for the video technology available in the Family Restoration Network, including "attending" graduations, weddings and funerals over a private secure link. We are in dialog with Public Housing and School officials to install this equipment where families can easily access it, too. At the heart of the system, we can testify that this system is turning the hearts of fathers to the children and the hearts of children to their fathers.

 

SOCIAL PARTNERS

We seek out partners in many corners of the community -- at churches, in businesses, at penal institutions and in key government positions. Each will be encouraged to support the goals of the FRN within their respective sphere of influence. Leaders in the business community are needed for their practical, efficient suggestions and in-kind support. The Mayor and City Council, Social Services officials, the Governor's re-entry team, the Sheriff/Warden, and Case Officers from Child Support Enforcement, Probation, Child Protection and members of the court system in several communities are necessary to a full implementation of our integrated approach. We eagerly reach out to all local and state government officials for support as well.

 

INITIATING A CITY-WIDE FAMILY RESTORATION NETWORK

Public enthusiasm for the project can vary from " How soon can we start?" to "Can we step into this slowly, building consensus as we make progress along the way? - " Each jurisdiction has its own unique needs, budgets and levels of participation. Our team is available to serve. We don't dictate solutions, but merely provide guidance on the principles and systems that should be seriously considered to effect lasting change. One source of encouragement flows from the offer of corporate donations of various kinds. Foundations and governments often find value in the transformative ideas and are therefore willing to provide grant funds. For instance, in Virginia, we have secured in-kind donations worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from world-class vendors.