Jeremy becomes quickly agitated when Sandra raises her voice, as he does not understand what is expected of him. He lacks the language to explain or tell his mother exactly what he wants. Despite the problems in communication, Jeremy loves his mother and wants to be near her constantly. He rarely explores distant toys or activities and he is lacking in self confidence. Sandra does not know how to encourage safe exploration and play.
Recently, when Sandra was arrested and taken to jail, Jeremy cried for hours. He stayed with Sandra’s mother Deborah, who eventually was able to calm him. However, she too lacks the skills to deal with Jeremy’s level of activity and with his tantrums or fits of frustration. Deborah is even more distant than Sandra, when it comes to Jeremy. She rarely cuddles or converses with him other than to correct him when he tries to touch or explore something he shouldn’t. Jeremy’s tantrums have increased since his mother’s incarceration and he is trying Deborah’s patience. There is some concern that Deborah may try to hurt Jeremy, though there has never been any evidence of this. Sandra is complacent in jail and seems not to be as concerned about Jeremy as she should be. Sandra spends her days in jail chatting, doing minimal chores and playing cards. The Travis County Sherriff’s department does not offer any educational for parents like Sandra, who often fail to realize the impact their jail time has on their children. There is a missed opportunity to help these parents learn effective coping skills and become better role models for their children.
Family Matters, A program by Family Connections, helps children whose parents are in jail, by providing supervised visits and parenting classes. This unique program is designed to serve 500 children of roughly 400 parents who are incarcerated. Skilled and experienced parent educators will be used to help incarcerated parents learn how to