Three years ago, the little girl would hide under a table when confronted with reminders that both her parents were in prison.
Now almost 10, she’s a confident, popular student, and ace recruiter for the program that helped her, says Daniel Howell, a case manager for New Hope Oklahoma. It offers after-school programs, weekend retreats and summer camps for about 500 Oklahoma children annually who have parents behind bars.
Nationwide, there are few comparable programs, despite a vast pool of children who might benefit.
Child Trends, a research organization, released a report Tuesday estimating that 5 million U.S. children have had at least one parent imprisoned — about one in every 14 children under 18. For black children, the rate was one in nine, the report said.
The report was based on data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health — a phone survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that collected input from parents and other caregivers.
Experts who study these children, or work with them, say parental incarceration is distinguished from other childhood woes by a mix of shame, stigma and trauma. Research indicates that many of the children face increased risk of (continue reading at WKRN)