April 22, 2013

Kids-A-Part Parenting Program honored at awards ceremony

Posted in Awards, Employees, Kids-A-Part tagged , , , at 3:04 pm by Lund

Kids-A-Part staff Jess Kell, Jo Berger and Crystal Fisher with the other winners of KidSafe Collaborative awards

Kids-A-Part staff Jess Kell, Jo Berger and Crystal Fisher with the other winners of KidSafe Collaborative awards (Credit: Karen Pike Photography)

“Doing family-centered work inside a prison can be very isolating and quite strange so it feels really validating and energizing to have our work acknowledged by our community partners,” said Jo Berger on Monday April 16th as she accepted the Gregory Packan Award for Outstanding Advocacy from KidSafe Collaborative on behalf of herself and her colleagues, Jess Kell and Crystal Fisher.  The award was presented to Kids-A-Part for their work with incarcerated mothers and their children both inside and out of Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

Jo went on to thank the staff who had preceded her and her colleagues at the program, the staff of the correctional facility, the staff at Lund and lastly the community.  “We are proud to live in a county and state that is getting tired of the financial and social consequences of mass incarceration, and has made reforming our criminal justice system a top priority.”

The heart behind Kids-A-Part’s work was shown with an interaction that Jo described between a corrections officer and a small child.  ” The officer knelt down and told the little boy, ‘Hey, you know that during the week I spend time with your mom and make sure she is safe.  Yesterday she showed me the Sponge Bob card you sent her – it was really cool.’  Kids often imagine that the guards treat their moms badly, so this officer not only put the boy at ease in that moment but made him worry less about his mom for the next six months while she was away in prison.”

Associate Director of Residential and Community Treatment at Lund, Courtney Farrell, said of the event and her colleagues, “It was such a powerful reminder of the importance of this work as well as the importance of strong collaborations, which they have worked tirelessly to build in addition to all of their work with families.”

Kids-A-Part provides crucial support, comfort and education to children during the scary and confusing time of a mother’s incarceration and Lund is very proud of the work of this program.

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