Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
Mentoring Children With Incarcerated Parents: Implications for Research, Practice, and Policy
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2009
© 2009 by the National Council on Family Relations
Volume 58, Issue 5, pages 507–519, December 2009
How to Cite
Shlafer, R. J., Poehlmann, J., Coffino, B. and Hanneman, A. (2009), Mentoring Children With Incarcerated Parents: Implications for Research, Practice, and Policy. Family Relations, 58: 507–519. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2009.00571.x
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2009
- high-risk children;
- volunteer programs
We investigated children and families who were participating in a mentoring program targeting children with incarcerated parents. Using multiple methods and informants, we explored the development of the mentoring relationship, challenges and benefits of mentoring children with incarcerated parents, and match termination in 57 mentor-child dyads. More than one-third of matches terminated during the first 6 months of participation. For those matches that continued to meet, however, children who saw their mentors more frequently exhibited fewer internalizing and externalizing symptoms. In monthly interviews with participants, themes emerged about challenges associated with mentoring and reasons for match termination. Implications for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are discussed.