The Ikan Power Children’s Rights and Development Program is a mentoring program that helps young people from age of 4 to 18yrs in greater Grand rapids of Western Michigan . The program focuses on the inner-city children and children of incarcerated parents, although no child in need will be turned away. Our intent is to be proactive and work with all areas of the alternative correctional system at the local, state and federal levels.
According to The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, more than two million children and youth in the United States have at least one parent in a federal or state correctional facility. These children experience disruption in the relationship and detrimental economic, social and emotional effects from having an incarcerated parent. Some of these children may have emotional shock that can cause lasting psychological effects. This may be caused by alternative living arrangements when removed from their family circle or their “umbrella of hope”.
Children in this situation tend to blame themselves and feel rejected while going through all the changes caused by the incarceration of one or both of their parents. They sometimes look for alternative ways to cope with the situation and the depression that arise. Often they succumb to peer pressure and turn to drug and alcohol usage.
Statistics prove that children seem to copy their parents. Our mentoring program can help to break that pattern and help these young people focus on their academic and physical training. This intervention program is a proactive way of reducing “child of a prisoner” risk behavior. We hope to advert the behavior “acting up” or the initiation of violence by discouraging them from criminal activities. We want to break the “Prison mentality Badge of Honor” before it ever gets started in these young people.
We intend to inspire the children to focus on a positive thinking behavior by providing them a caring, supportive adult. A positive role model to assist them in the understanding of the Criminal Justice system. To assure them that the system is not against them.
The IPCRD mentoring program is a one on one relationship that provides children with role models. The adult mentors will interact with the child on a regular and consistent basis to maintain positive, encouraging support, and advice. The mentor will inspire the child to make good choices in future endeavors.
IPCRD will train and screen adult volunteers for all one on one relationships, to ensure positive matches with the volunteer and the child. IPCRD will establish the goals and evaluates the outcome of the mentored children. A successful mentor could be a good friend, a parent of a child, teacher or pastor and have to be age 18 or over with good standing in the community.