FCC Programs for Incarcerated Mothers
FCC offers the following programs for mothers incarcerated at the NH State Prison for Women at Shea Farm and in Goffstown:
- Parenting education class – The 18-hour Mothers Connecting with Children curriculum is adapted from the UNH Cooperative Extension Family Focus curriculum. This class must be successfully completed before participation in all other FCC activities.
- Parenting support groups – Offered weekly, these groups offer incarcerated mothers an opportunity to share and learn from each other. The mothers support each other as they learn to parent away from their families. Participants must attend one support group per week to be considered an active participant and to be eligible for all programming at the Family Connections Center.
- Healthy Relationships – A 10-hour class which is based on the "Relationship Smarts PLUS," curriculum. Based on the 5-year federal evaluation study at Auburn University, is a research-based curriculum that uses hands-on activities to build skills and knowledge necessary for making wise relationship choices.
- Books on CD – Incarcerated mothers can record stories and songs on CDs up to three times per year per child. These CDs are sent to each child's home with 2 brand-new books and a new book bag. This way the incarcerated mother can read stories to her child every night before bed. The hope is that this will help encourage literacy as the child follows along with the book as Mom is reading. This also gives the child the power to hear Mom's voice and hear Mom saying "I love you" whenever when they are missing her.
- Internet video/virtual visitation – Incarcerated mothers can apply to visit with their children via an Internet webcam. Although these visits do not include the important aspect of physical touch, they can provide an intimate connection between parent and child. Visits have taken place between incarcerated mothers and children located in New Hampshire, in other states, and even overseas. These children would not see or interact with their mothers without the Family Connections Center program. Children are able to visit semi-privately with Mom and share parts of their lives with her, from introducing her to their new pet to showing her crafts they have made.
- Seminars – Various life skills seminars are offered on an on-going basis. Volunteer presenters from UNH Cooperative Extension, Plymouth State UniversityCollege, Child Support Services, and NH Public Television have conducted seminars on a variety of topics, including: When Your Income Drops, When Parenting Styles Differ, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Moral Development, Conflict Resolution and a Literacy Seminar, Money Management, and Nutrition.
- Family resources libraries – We have extensive family libraries filled with books on many topics. These books are used during the program visits and to record on the books on CD.
- Monthly newsletter – This newsletter is available to all incarcerated mothers and may also be sent via email to their child(ren)'s caregiver. The newsletter highlights upcoming FCC events, offers parenting support and advice and lets families know what is happening in NH communities.