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Raising Children with Parents in Prison For the Parent left behind with children AND for the Children that have a parent inside. Discussion of unique challenges facing this group!

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2003, 12:21 PM
thabaddstbiatch thabaddstbiatch is offline
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Unhappy How can we get financial support when our children's father is in prison?

I am struggling to raise my two beautiful daughter's, I work fulltime, and have roommates, because I just can't seem to make ends meet. I'm sure I could just find someone and use them to help me, but I don't want to. It's not someone else's place. But why isn't there help for women in my situation? As much as I love my children's father..... I can't help but recent him for the postion he has left me in. I'm struggling... he's atleast got three squares, and a roof over his head..... he doesn't have to worry about that! This is just mad hard.

Another concern I have is that I am going to bring my oldest daughter to see her father in the jail...... does anyone agree or disagree with....... that? Is that a good thing to do?
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:24 PM
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I hear you. I have three children and my ex-husband is in prison. I also struggle to make ends meet. I think that it's very unfair that he doesn't have to pay for anything, and of course I am not going to keep track of all that he owes. By the time he is able to get out, he will be so far behind in child-support, that they might keep him anyway.

I have been struggling with the idea of taking my children and I just can't do it. I suppose it also depends on how old your daughter is. My oldest is 8. They all want to see him however they don't really understand the situation that they will be going into. Their dad is in a medium right now, and I told them that as soon as he was moved to a minimum, that I would take them. It's a very difficult decision, and nobody can really give me a right or wrong answer.

Good luck, I know how you feel.
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Old 07-08-2003, 09:37 PM
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Ciara,

Many of us bring the kids to see their dads.... There's been threads about this--long ones and many of them... You may want to do a search. It helps the kids to still have a relationship and helps with the parent/child bond. You just need to prep the kids first....

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Old 07-16-2003, 12:36 AM
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My 9 yr old sons dad had been in prison since i was 3 months preganant and he has seen him since he was 3 days old he gets mad at his dad but not to his face he does it to me and im the one here to pick up the pieces but he loves his dad very much and i would not do anything diffrent. i think at least having a parent alive, in prison and knowing they love you is better than saying well im sorry honey your dad is dead. so i may be wrong for subjecting my son to this lifestyle i just want him to know hes loved.
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:23 AM
Lee86 Lee86 is offline
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Ciara,
I take all 4 of my kids to see their dad. My family says it's not the right way to raise them. I see it as a learning experience for all of us. It wasn't on my top 10 list of places I wanted to go before I die, but how many of us do?
I decided to take them so that they see what it's really like on the other side. Hopefully this will keep them walking the straight and narrow, knowing what's in store for them if they ever get in trouble.
They also know that just because someone does something wrong, it doesn't mean we should stop loving them and turn away. So despite what my family says, I think I made the right decision and I hope it will help them make the right choices in life.
Good luck
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:50 AM
wannamae wannamae is offline
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I undersatnd how you feel. It just seems so unfair. I recently lost my job so that makes it harder. And we dont qualify for any type of assistance until I use up all our savings. Including the boys savings.
I have not use some one to help out either but I think about just dont act because I do Love my James. We have learned to "really" cut back since losing the job. But we will manage and so will you. I will go through phases or fits about how the state pay so much $$ per person they keep inside. And half should be released due to different reasons.
I have taken my boys to see thier Dad. But when he is at a place where there are outside visits and no glass. Depends on the child and they should be talked with about what they will expect.

And as for assistance I have only found nada, with help for finaces. At Christmas time one year, James signed up for something called Angel Tree I believe it is. And they did get a gift for our Son from his Daddy and wasnt cheap either. There are those kinds of asstitance out there.
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:37 PM
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I take my two sons to see their dad at least twice a week. They are 5 and 10 and they want to go. The little one doesn't like to stay too long but they love and miss their dad and want to see him. It also gives my husband a reason to stay positive and realizes what he is missing out on by his mistake. I also know how you feel about the financial support. I only work part time and have to pay a babysitter to watch my kids. I have no family around to help out. It's hard but you have to do what you have to do. Hang in there.
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Old 07-19-2003, 10:36 PM
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It's very hard what you all go through with kids and having to try to raise them without help. My first husband never supported his four kids. He never went to prison---just ran off to Kentucky with another woman----but he never sent support at all. I raised them alone, without child support, and some nights I'd sit in the living room all by myself and cry, so exhausted and discouraged. I thought I'd never make it, but I did. Just stay close emotionally with the kids and you'll all grow closer for all the struggles.

As for taking the kids, it's a lot better for the kids if they can see their parent. I went through that with grandkids.
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Old 07-20-2003, 04:10 PM
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I take my 2 year old daughter to see her dad weekly. Just cuz they screw up doesn't mean they can't have a positive influence on their kids. I've seen kids grow up without ever seeing their father who was in prison. These kids are hateful and resentful and not well balanced at all. I'm not saying that this will happen with yours. It's ok to allow your children to learn the truth on a level they understand. This is part of their lives as well as yours. Learning how to deal with things is a GOOD thing. He is still a human being and your baby deserves a relationship with his/her father. Honey you can make it. And you will for your and your children's sake. Good luck to you!

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Old 07-20-2003, 09:24 PM
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I take my 3 year old son to see his dad. He has gone almost every time that I've gone since he was born. It's the only way he's going to get to know his dad until he comes home and family is really important to me.

As for support, I simply trust in God and it never fails that when there is a need, God provides.
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:46 AM
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My Brother went to jail for the first time last wednesday. He's at the lawrence "Farm", i'm told its a bit different then the prisons. His wife, with whom he's divorced from is going away to framingham in september for 5 mos.. I'm just so devastated. My 18yr old neice, lives with my brother, but now she's alone. she just turned 18!! So, my brothers' friends and i have been watching over her, making sure she has money and is eating.. i call her everyday.
Does anyone here know of a son/daughter who's been left on their own until there parent does there time?
My brother violated a restraining order, he more or less ANNOYED the Ex-girlfriend, and was arrested 3x's over it. this time, he Waved to the girl, and she got fed up and called the cops. he's gone now for 9 months...... i'm so bummed. Any advice on my neice on what kind of support or assistance is out there for her.
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:11 AM
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I am located in Washington State, I do know that inmates here can make a good wage, if they are lucky, however most make a mere .30 cents a hour. Despite this, a minimum support is set by DCS at the rate of $25 per month per child.
I am one that was lucky & what my kids dad made in prison was sent out to her, he went with what they provided for him. Many men will not do that, I think you should all check with your local DCS (Division of Child Support) & see what they say.
I know that once the father is returned to society, give him 6 months to get out & get things in order then you can change the support order, some states, like mine will do it automatically.

Yes, child support is a much needed thing for inmates children, If you are in an area that does not have help for child support or inmate jobs that pay, I recommend you start to get the fathers involved by making crafts, then the kids can set up a little gift shop i.e. neighbors, friends, family, garage sells, ebay.. (or you depending on their age) & both father & child/children can make a positive bond by working to help each other, help themselves.
Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:27 PM
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its nice for those of u who can and will take ur children too see there fathers will they are in prison....but in my case its not good to to do that or do i agree with it from where im @.....my 5 yr old daughters father has a year left in iowa department of corrections....for child molestation.....in which he molseted a 3 yr old boy for over a year....
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:41 PM
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Maybe I'm lucky where I am(RI). There is subsidized housing,though the wait was over 2 years to get in here.Medical assistance reimburses most of what work takes out for medical coverage. And there is childcare assistance. WIC is a federal program, but it only helps children under 5 and pregnant moms. It's still hard getting by, especially with back to school looming and the price of gas.
I have taken our son to see Daddy from the start. Each situation is different.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:52 PM
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i agree that the children should still see the other parents and hopes that the children will learn not to do wrong or they will end up there as well. when i was young i went with my cousin to see her dad needless to say i have never been behind the bars for any wrong doing and i dont want to be back there.

now i have a man i am very much in love with that is there and i visit weekly with him and he is in for a short time and i am thinking about taking my children to see him because like i said it was a learning experience for me maybe it can be for me children as well and maybe even take his son there too. none of the children have ever been behind bars and my son has been in trouble so this might help him and my daughter is starting to run down the wrong path and i believe it will help her too.

children are 18.5, 15.5 and 13 i really think it is a good idea to take the children it teachs them things

good luck with what you choose.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:59 PM
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I take my children to see their father. Never would I take that from them or him. I am at times ashamed when I have to see my kids take off their shoes, go through the detector, etc... But when I see the smile on their innocent faces, and the smile on his face, I know that I have done the right thing. Not to mention that they will not grow up thinking that their daddy made the choice not to see them. He had no control, so I make it possible for that bond to be made and kept. And I do not regret keeping them as close as possible. You guys are in my prayers and thoughts. I hope that all works out for you.
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:47 AM
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I am raising a 2 1/2 year alone and it is so hard. Hopefully her dad will be home to help soon. I have taken her twice to see him. He has been gone almost a year. I still don't think she understands what's going on.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:34 AM
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I too have had a lot of struggles in making it in this world since husbands incarceration. I ended up having to move out of my home to return home to upstate Ny to stay with mother long enough to get my car paid off to save me from losing that so that I could stay at it working. I am now back in virginia preparing for husbands release in five and a half weeks. I have a 17 yr old son, 20 yr old daughter and then then the 27 yr old son who resides in upstate ny with his fiance and my new 7 month old grandaughter. in trying to keep his job husband was caught driving to work. he was declared habitual offender ten years prior from a third dwi ten years ago. he had no alchol related offenses at all in the past ten years. came a long way in life actually. but unfortunately to the system it didn't matter. he received five years with three years suspended.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:37 AM
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I am raising three children on my own, my youngest was two weeks old when my husband was incarcerated. I recieve no help either. I bring my children to see their father as often as possible, some facilities will allow all of us at once, some will not, but they each get their turn. It's important for children to spend time with their father, and important for him too. My youngest who really never knew his Daddy at home, seems to love him even more than the older two and eagerly awaits the day when he will "go to Daddy's House", that's how he describes the prison. THe older two speak of Dady's prison. They have each been told, just as much as they need why their Daddy is in prison, and as they grow older will be told as much as they can understand. Both my husband and I use his situation to point out to the kids what happens when you do wrong, when you make bad decisions. We also strive and stress that just because Daddy is now with us it does not mean he loves us any the less.
Yes indeed I get angry, even rant and rage when things go wrong and I have to struggle so hard. But placing blame on him doesn't make it any easier and certainly does not make the situation go away. We all have a right to feel overworked, overloaded and even abandoned. But blaming him does no good, and look at what he is going through now, yes he may have three squares a day but what is the food like. In NY State the cost of feeding a prisoner is $2.14 a day. Yes I said a day, not a meal. So you tell me just how good those three squares are.
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:53 AM
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My husband has been in jail for almost 2 years now. We have a 10yr old daughter and a 8 yr old son.My girl has really taken this hard having mood swings,being mad and unhappy,doing poorly in school.However once he was moved into the prison system and we could have contact visitation she has improved 100% I think it's very mportant for the kids to have contact with their father.They kids haven't done anything wrong they shouldn't be punished by not seeing their father. Mine don't know the full details of course but they know enough to fill informed.


Andtay
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:56 AM
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One idea that comes to mind is the program "Aid to families with dependent childern" AFDC, a federal program adminstered by the State, check with the Department of Social Services, your income limits may qualify you for that, and a host of other benifits, including food supplments, and food stamps.
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:40 PM
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I have n 18 month old daughter and 7 month old son. I work Mon thru Fri 8-5 and go to school Mon thr Thur 6-11 pm and I get so mad if he didnt treat me like shit I wouldnt have to be stressing over the bills, finding a baby sitter and being so depressed because i hardly see my kids... i tried to get help for daycare and they said i make to much money but i only make $10.50 an hour... but its ok for people not to work stay home and do drugs and collect welfair what is this???
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Old 10-28-2006, 11:06 PM
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My Husband And I Have 8 Children 4 Of Which Are Still At Hom 17,15,14,13 Yrs. Old My Husband Got 30mos.well Im Disable My Husband And I Bought A New Home 6mos Ago Now Im Wondering How Im Going To Pay The Mortage ,pay These Bills,keep My Kids In Clothing,school Supplies,etc I Have Son Graduating In June From 8 Grade A Daughter Graduating In June From 12th Prom Is Also Coming I Dont Know Were Im Going To Get Funds To Handle All This Considering Im Disable And Cant Work And My 5 Years Ran Out For Afdc. Iget Little From Ssi So Yes I Cry ,get Angry Than Worry Set In Because He Stressed That If We Losses His Home There No Need To Come Back When He Released Lots Of Nerve For Someone Who Has Nothing To Worry About Sure Hes In Prison And Should Not Be There And I Love Him But Almost Crazed With Wory Im Stuck Dont Know Where To Turn No Family Support From Either Side Of The Family Im On My Own
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:15 AM
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i already posted this to another user and thought id do the same for you...there is SOooooo much help out there and all you have to do is go get it, as far as help with groceries, medical bills, child care, housing and so on. Go, or call your local Social Services Dept. and just explain to them that you need help, they will send you in the right direction and they will help you with EVERYTHING! And, I hope that im not talking out of my a$$ because im not sure what programs they have in your state. But, seriously take advantage of all that the government has to offer to you. If you want to know more, just ask me and I will try to help you the best that i can with any questions you may have. and PLEASE if ANYBODY needs help finacially or whatever, GO to your SS agency and ask for help!!!!!
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:44 AM
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Social Services looks at us and "laughs" when we try to explain about our husbands and the costs of phone calls, travel expenses, occasional food packages... He doesn't live in the house, so he doesn't exist. I just get asked every time I re-apply how to contact the father of minor child for child support no matter how I try to explain.
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