The BEST 2.0 program is doing a fantastic job providing much-needed education, support and training to parents with children expressing problem behaviors. The team has worked closely with Partnership staff to better understand the unique needs of families impacted by incarceration and to work with both the incarcerated parent and the families in the community to help address the stress and trauma children of incarcerated parents experience. Some of the biggest improvements to this program revolve around the programming offered inside the jails/prisons to incarcerated parents to help them find ways to stay connected to their young children during incarceration (many had been choosing to not see their children assuming that seeing them in prison was more traumatic than not seeing them at all). They also help parents process their own trauma and develop skills and tools to more effectively support their children and address those behaviors.
In addition, for the parents raising these children in the community, they have developed a certificate program within the college for those parents that complete all of the various components of the program. Many of these parents never saw themselves as being "right" for college - and participating in this program and achieving a non-credit certificate changes that perspective and gives them pride and self-confidence. In fact, several of the parents that completed the certificate program used that as a springboard to enroll in college to pursue an academic degree. It's been so inspiring!