Parenting and Family Dynamics
Many of the men and women in correctional facilities are fathers and mothers. Some statistics indicate that nearly three million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. While it can be challenging to effectively and actively parent while incarcerated, Standard life skills programs strive to introduce and reinforce positive parental lessons that offenders can carry with them upon release. Even while still confined, we instill strategies for inmates to build better relationships with their children as they prepare for family reunification.
Forgiven Ministries' life skills programs focus on every stage in child development, including the role of a parent in helping children succeed in school. Also discussed are the consequences of raising a child in an “at risk” family. Teaching parenting skills and developing cognitive self-change as part of a life skills may not, in isolation, prevent criminal behavior in the inmate, but it likley will assist the child in moving in a new direction instead of following in the parent's path. Together, all of these topics may go a long way toward breaking the cycle of criminal behavior and incarceration.
Budgeting and Financial Management
Being able to smartly manage one's money is a critical skill. Learning how to spend in accordance with a budget can help former offenders withstand the pressures of resorting to illegal activity to earn money. Poor management of family or personal finances is a major problem that is by no means limited to the incarcerated population. Few, if any, factors lead to broken families more often than financial issues. That’s why budgeting and financial management are a critical part of life skills training. Inmates who can prioritize and stay out of financial trouble are much more likely to be happier and more productive citizens after release.
Getting prepared to enter the workforce involves more than just learning the skills of a trade or earning a certification. Forgiven Ministries' life skills programs have a major focus on employability and occupational readiness that includes:
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Sometimes, the failure to function and prosper in society can be due to a basic lack of social or interpersonal skills. The simple truth is that many inmates, due to lack of education or lack of exposure to positive role models at home, have communication issues that hamper their success.
That's why life skills training includes a focus on interpersonal skill-building. Inmates are taught about the fundamental need for decency and respect. They learn communications skills and practice them in real-life situations. Programs also focus on independent living skills, anger control and victimization