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[As a result of various life events, this project has been halted. The mission is still in my heart. There is a growing need of services for people impacted by incarceration. The approvals received by community and individuals were all positive. The need for volunteers is great in all service organizations. I was not able to find the physical, active support needed to help me keep this rolling. If you feel you can pick up the baton or have other resources or good things to offer on this topic, please contact me. The posted contact information is current. Thank you! ~Patti]

In May 2014, I attended a Correctional Education Association conference in Eastern Wisconsin. At that conference, I met a woman who had been working with middle school students who are children of incarcerated parents in the Chippewa Falls area of Wisconsin. After listening to her presentation and doing some further research, I was compelled to use her program as a basis for implementing it in more schools in Wisconsin. She has been more than helpful in my efforts to expand on her curriculum and serve the invisible population in our communities, neighbourhoods and schools-children of incarcerated parents.

Although incarceration affects people in many ways which I may not be able to help with, there are many effects of incarceration with which I can find resources and information to hopefully aide people in dealing with some of those affectations. Providing educational support, finding avenues of peer support and options will hopefully make a positive difference. Showing people options may help them not feel as if their futures are dictated by incarceration.

As I was researching in preparation of starting a non-profit organization (The Wisconsin CARES Network, Inc.) to assist children of incarcerated parents I found more avenues in which I can serve people impacted by incarceration. It is not only the children of incarcerated parents to whom I could offer assistance. It is not only the incarcerated or the formerly incarcerated who could benefit from a support network. Those others who need help with resources and support are the partners, parents, grandparents – entire families of incarcerated/formerly incarcerated persons. They have specific issues to deal with which are connected to the temporary loss of a loved one to prison. Those specific issues are not easily discussed in general conversation and have a stigma which could continue to hinder their abilities to keep moving forward to their potential.

Beginning with a funding program (Purposefully {re}Made) to support middle school children and their activities,  I hope to start peer support group programs in the schools. That was my initial point of interest. Expanding from there, my intentions are to assist families through links to various services including parenting workshops, caregiver nights off, support groups and more. Continuing to assist the children of incarcerated parents, I hope to have access to higher education scholarships and programs to help them meet their educational needs and goals. College opportunities for formerly incarcerated, connections to career supports and reintegration is yet another extension of how The Wisconsin CARES Network, Inc. continue to grow and assist those effected by incarceration in Wisconsin. Eventually a speakers group, summer camps and community events will be part of the network to help create and share the successes of those who have been impacted by incarceration.

{Please follow The Wisconsin CARES Network blog here for updates on resources, statistics and articles regarding incarceration along with notes on our progress. Our calendar here will have past posts and upcoming events for you to see. You can get quick news bits by following @WICARESNetwork on Twitter. To keep an eye on the funding program Purposefully {re}Made on Facebook, please like the page to receive notifications.}

If you have any input or interest in being a partner with The Wisconsin CARES Network please send an email to wisconsincaresnetwork@gmail.com. It takes more than money. I love reading articles relating to the population the Network intends to serve. Please pass along any you find relevant. Know anyone who could be served by the Network? Please share this site and/or their contact information via email.                                                                         Thank you, 

~Patti Bryant

The Wisconsin CARES Network is not a lobbying group. Our intention is to offer assistance to people in consideration of current situations and resources, link those resources and hopefully create an atmosphere of progress for those moving beyond the effects of incarceration. Any published articles are not necessarily endorsements. They are intended for the purpose of sharing information so others can learn and form educated opinions of their own. Any linked resource, group, association, business and/or sponsor may hold different missions than The Wisconsin CARES Network; the combining of similar missions is a goal in effort to build better relationships in the communities we serve. All things posted on this WordPress blog, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts are the property of the The Wisconsin CARES Network, Purposefully {re}Made and Patti Bryant. Explicit permissions are required if you want to use any information contained therein. The logos for The Wisconsin CARES Network and Purposefully {re}Made cannot be used without authorization. TRI-FIFTEEN and One4Eight are also protected names. For more information please contact Patti Bryant.

8 comments

  1. Patti, Thank you for sharing. You are amazing for getting this going. I would like to keep up with how this all progresses.

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    • Madeline, I would love to keep you informed and accept your thoughts, directions and connections to help this progress. You can follow this blog, follow the @WICARESNetwork twitter and of course message me anytime.
      Thank you for your kind words of support.
      ~Patti

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  2. Yay! Community Circles of Support, Goodwill NCW is excited for this program to get legs. Families really need a support group too, as soon as possible. Thanks for your passion and COMPASSION, Patti.

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  3. These issues frequently affect my student population. What a wonderful thing you’re doing, Patti. Thank you!

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    • Lisa, thank you for your support both morally and financially! Would you ever be interested and able to participate in a survey regarding such students, their needs and services? We can talk in messenger or when I am back home this summer…I hope there is another EC adventure this year. Let me know what you think (about either-survey and adventure)! 🙂

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