On Wednesday, June 13th, the ChIPs mentors and mentees got together as a group for the very first time since the program began in January! This group mentoring activity was hosted at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Jason Vrooman, the Curator of Education and Academic Programs, spent a generous amount of time coordinating with his staff to ensure that our group received the proper support for our event (which included art materials relevant to the exhibits).
The group also took advantage of the outdoor space on campus. The mentors and mentees were able to play a few games while burning off some additional energy. Dottie, the ChIPs Mentoring Program Clinical Director, had everyone participate in an activity that helped “break the ice.” Mentors and mentees learned each other’s names by tossing a sock around a circle. This activity sounds silly, but it was a wonderful way for this group to meet one another and form a bond.
The event was especially important to the Safer Society Foundation staff, as it allowed time for us to assess how our matches are doing and determine what additional supports can be provided to maintain a positive experience for all as the program moves forward.
Congratulations to Katelen Fortunati, LCSW, author of the Safer Society ChIPs storybook series and Institute workshop presenter, for receiving her doctoral degree in clinical social work from Rutgers University this month!
Her doctorate focused on combining scholarship and practice. Her dissertation was titled, “Disrupted Attachments and the Global Health Implications of Parental Incarceration on the Child.”
The imprisonment of a parental figure has far reaching repercussions, that cannot be predicted, but forever alter a child’s life. Each child’s story and circumstance is different and must be honored, yet, the repercussion in each story begins with the loss of a parent to prison. Working for many years with children and families impacted by parental incarceration I have born witness to and found that losing a parent to prison is not a singular event; rather it is a dynamic process that unfolds throughout one’s lifetime.
If you are interested in learning a little more about the subject, visit Katelen’s website www.everysinglekid.org. Click on the “Need to Know” tab where she has posted a few excerpts from her dissertation in an easy-to-read format.