ChIPs Mentoring & Circles of Support


ChIPs (Children of Incarcerated Parents) are widely acknowledged

to be the most challenging children to mentor.

In the spirit of our founder Fay Honey Knopp, who always tackled tough challenges head on, we’ve established a unique mentoring program for this challenging population.

Launched in Vermont in the summer of 2017, the ChIPs program goes beyond traditional mentoring practices in the following ways:

>Targeted mentor recruitment. Traditional programs seek volunteers for a 1- or 2-year commitment through advertising and word of mouth; the ChIPs program proactively recruits experienced school counselors, nurses, teachers, & social workers and requires a minimum 5-year commitment.

>Strong support staff. Traditional mentoring program staff consists of a lone program director; ChIPs mentors are supported by a clinical director, program director, and case manager.

>Child’s right to a relationship with the incarcerated parents. Adhering to the principles of the ChIPs Bill of Rights, the ChIPs program actively supports child/incarcerated parent relationships through prison visitation, correspondence, and communication.

>Circles of Support. A circle of supporting adults formed around each mentor-child pair may include the child’s custodial parent or legal guardian, an “on-call” extended family member, friend, or neighbor, the child’s school counselor, the incarcerated parent’s probation or parole officer, and a family therapist or other mental health professional. These circles are formed to help remedy two key problems faced by all mentoring programs:

– The high rate of premature mentor dropouts due to frustration and burnout resulting from the child’s dysfunctional living situation.

– At-risk children’s lack of connection with their communities.


Chad Butt from Mobius Mentors was recently on WCAX TV talking about mentoring programs. He mentioned Safer Society’s ChIPs Mentoring & Circles of Support program. Watch it here:

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Stay informed about the ChIPs Mentoring and Circles of Support Program

If you are interested in staying informed about the ChIPs Mentoring and Circles of Support Program and if you are considering becoming a mentor, please fill out this form:

Yes. I want to learn more and may participate in the Children of Incarcerated Parents Mentoring and Circles of Support program. Please keep me informed of further developments.

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