Extended Family actively seeks partnerships with organizations who share our passion for building stronger families by providing programs designed to strengthen each individual family member.  Recently, we have partnered with Lovelady Center, one of the most unique resources in Alabama.  Lovelady Center provides a home for women who are struggling and needing a second chance, or, as the Lovelady staff says, an opportunity for a first chance since for some women, this is the first place they have ever known love.  Not only does Lovelady Center shelter women, but also allows mothers and their children to live there together, which helps reduce the trauma for the family.  Their staff and volunteers are always searching for programs that will help teach their clients to make better decisions that lead them down a different path.  Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is a Program that meets that objective.

EFK is a nine-lesson curriculum designed for children ages five to eighteen who have a loved one who is incarcerated.  EFK teaches children important lessons like, “It’s not your fault,” and “We don’t have to do their time.”  Children learn ways to manage stress in “Stress Busters,” and how to experience emotions without expressing behaviors that will get them into trouble in the lesson “Emotional Continuum.”  EFK even helps eliminate the misconceptions children have about law enforcement in the lesson called simply, “COPS!”  Finally, EFK teaches children to dream a future for themselves based on their own choices, not the choices made by their incarcerated loved one, in the lesson “Picture This.”

In December 2023, Extended Family staff traveled to Birmingham to Lovelady Center and led an Extended Family for Kids Program Leader Training for their staff and volunteers.  They recently began their first EFK group and are already seeing results, young students coming out of their shells and becoming more receptive to the Lessons.  Studies and surveys through the years have consistently shown that EFK increases children’s self-esteem, equips them with tools to make better choices, and improves their ability to get along with others, all important qualities necessary to break the cycle of incarceration in families and to prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system.

Extended Family is proud to partner with Lovelady Center to make available the Extended Family for Kids Program to the children there.  Partnerships like this further our mission, “To offer help and inspire hope.”  For more information about Extended Family and our programs, visit our website, www.extendedfamilyhelp.org.

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