Supporters of Incarcerated Parents to be Honored by Statewide Child Advocate Group
(Concord, NH) Three New Hampshire citizens will receive special recognition later this month thanks to a pair of fathers who participate in the New Hampshire Department of Corrections Family Connections Center (FCC) recognition of their support to their children.
Ronald Donahue and Andrew Shea from the New Hampshire State Prison for Men nominated members of their families for a the 2018 New Hampshire Children’s Trust “Unsung Hero” award and their nominations were accepted. This is not the first time outside supporters have been recognized for their continuous support of this very special program in the state correctional system, but it is the first time we have had the families of two FCC participants chosen. Mr. Donahue nominated his child’s mother and Mr. Shea nominated his foster parents.
For twenty years, the FCC has used a strength-based approach to meet parents where they are at and to educate and support them during their physical separation from their children due to incarceration. FCC connects the families left behind to family support programs in their communities, while creating healthy, fun activities for the children to participate in with their parent who is incarcerated.
These are similar principles advocated by the New Hampshire Children’s Trust who for ten years has recognized parents for parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parent and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children. The NHDOC believes these principles become increasingly necessary after the parent is incarcerated which challenges their ability to impart their values upon their children and be an effective parent during the time of separation.
“We have had other participants over the years nominate their child’s caregiver and some who were chosen, but this is the first time that two FCC participant’s applications were chosen in the same year,” said Kristina Toth, Administrator of the Family Connections Center.
For more information about the Family Connections Center please visit the Department of Corrections website at https://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/fcc/index.html. For more information about the Unsung Heroes award please visit the NH Children’s Trust website: https://www.nhchildrenstrust.org/unsunghero