Posted on January 2, 2015

JAMS FOUNDATION FUNDS PROJECT TO PROVIDE CONFLICT RESOLUTION EDUCATION TO CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED AND RETURNING PARENTS

Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia’s only nonprofit community mediation center, received a grant from the JAMS Foundation to design and implement a series of conflict resolution education workshops for children with a parent who is incarcerated or returning from prison. This new project, dubbed CHIRP (Children of Incarcerated and Returning Parents), has three primary goals. To provide children with a parent who is in prison to : (1) have an opportunity to meet and share their experience with others who are in a similar situation; (2) to learn how to constructively communicate about and address conflict situations, enabling better relationships; and (3) practice these new skills with caretakers, parents and/or other supportive adults.

            Separate workshop series are being designed for children ages 9-12 and 13-17.  Additional workshops will be available to parents involved in GSMP Reentry Services, caretakers and/or other supportive adults. The final workshop will be a joint caretaker-youth gathering with role-plays addressing family conflicts using a “Kitchen Table” conflict resolution process. The workshop will conclude with certificates of completion and a celebration. Classes are scheduled to begin in March 2015.

            Founded in 1984, Good Shepherd Mediation Program (GSMP) encourages peace, reconciliation and social justice through the use of mediation and other constructive conflict resolution and restorative practices.  GSMP also offers a variety of related trainings, workshops and consulting services for the community.

            JAMS, the nation’s premier provider of private dispute resolution services, established the non-profit JAMS Foundation to offer financial assistance for conflict resolution initiatives with national or international impact and to share its dispute resolution experience and expertise for the benefit of the public interest. Funded entirely by contributions from JAMS, JAMS neutrals, and employee associates, the Foundation’s mission is to encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), support education at all levels about collaborative processes for resolving differences, promote innovation in conflict resolution, and advance the settlement of conflict worldwide.

               To enroll a young person in the CHIRP workshop series, contact Shakeya Currie Foreman, the Restorative Justice Specialist at Good Shepherd Mediation Program, at 215-843-5413 or sforeman@phillymediators.org.