Friends of Children & Youth
Started in 2004, Friends of Children and Youth (FOCY) helps children and youths, ages 7 to 19, with at least one parent presently or formerly incarcerated, to overcome their existing circumstances, build strong foundations and be equipped to enter the next phase of their lives.
We have seen that parental incarceration causes much emotional trauma and wounds in their children. This results in a lot of stress and hinders the child’s emotional development.
When a child experiences such stressors on an ongoing basis, they find it harder to develop essential traits such as resilience and grit, which are crucial to help them break out of their circumstances.
Using intervention methods, we assign a caseworker to each child/youth, as well as a befriender (volunteer), to mentor, care and support.
This helps the child/youth to :
- Be more engaged in school and decrease the drop-out rate
- Make better choices in relationships and lifestyle
- Develop self-identity, self-esteem, and self-confidence
- Improve behavior and interpersonal skills
- Build stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
- Decrease the likelihood of drug and crime participation
Cases are only closed when their situations are deemed stable, which can be from a few months to many years.
This programme is available islandwide.
Focus Areas for Children (7 to 12 Years Old)
- Social – Outings, Group activities, Interactions with volunteer befrienders
- Physical – Regular food rations, Birthday celebrations
- Emotional – Staff visitations, Counselling, In-house Guidance Programme
- Educational – Academic guidance, I Coach U (ICU) Tuition Programme, referral to agencies and schools for educational and learning support and assistance
- Dollars (Financial assistance) – Information & referral to government agencies, referral of employment for caregivers, and Life Community’s Benevolence fund
Focus Areas for Youths (13 to 19 Years Old)
- Skills Development – Life skills development through interest-based groups and leadership camps (E.g. Dance, Sports, Music)
- Personality Development – Develop a healthy self-esteem & forge a sense of identity, Formation of self-concept, through camps and workshops
- Relational & Social Skills Development – Strengthen relationship with parents, siblings and peers of same/opposite gender through fun-filled activities, group work and outings
- Emotional Development – Caseworker visitation, Mentoring, Birthday celebration
- Academic Guidance – Academic guidance, I Coach U (ICU) Tuition Programme, referral to agencies and schools for educational and learning support and assistance
- Dollar (Financial Assistance) – Provide information and referral, food ration for needy families to bridge service gaps, and link them to referral of employment