Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is a 9-lesson, evidence-based curriculum for children of the incarcerated.  EFK is offered in schools and after-school programs for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.  In EFK, students learn how to make good choices, despite the fact that their loved one made choices resulting in incarceration.  EFK provides instruction for physical, mental, and moral development with lessons on stress reduction, expressing anger appropriately and creating positive relationships with law enforcement.

The latest study of Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children (17 or younger) Survey of Prison Inmates was released in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  According to Childstats.gov, the total number of children in the U.S. that year was 73.7 million.  Of that number, 1.5 million children had a parent in a state or federal prison, or 1 in 49.  2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent at any given time, or 1 in 28.  And 5 million children experience parental incarceration at some point during childhood, between birth and age 17, or 1 in 15.

Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is not limited to children who have a parent incarcerated, but any family member who is currently incarcerated or has been in the past.  EFK has many goals, among the most important are to help break the cycle of incarceration in families and to prevent children from entering into the juvenile justice system.  Each EFK Lesson is designed to help children learn to create an “identity in contrast,” which involves separating themselves from the poor choices of their incarcerated loved one and deciding who they want to be, with EFK providing the tools they need to become that person.

Judges, principals, counselors, teachers, and community service providers who are familiar with the program know that Extended Family for Kids has the power to change kids’ lives.  We at Extended Family want to bring EFK to every child who needs it.  We do that by creating partnerships with people in communities across the nation who are concerned about the well-being of this under-served segment of our population.  If you are interested in bringing Extended Family for Kids programs to the children in your community, we are here to help!  For more information about EFK, please visit our website, www.extendedfamilyhelp.org.  Together, we are changing lives, one child at a time.

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