Safer Society Foundation presents a new series of illustrated storybooks for counseling children of incarcerated parents (ChIPs).
Each of these short stories is told from the point of view of one child who has a particular family situation and challenge to overcome. At the end of the 12-page story, are two coloring pages for the child reader to write and illustrate his or her own story. In the back of the book, a note to the caregiver suggests ways to engage children in reading and talking about the story and helping them draw parallels to their own situations and challenges.
The author, Katelen Fortunati, MSW LCSW, leads an early intervention program for children who currently have an incarcerated parent for over three years. She provides individual and family therapy along with a range of case management services. She works to help the families gain stability, increase communication and work towards reunification. Through her work she has discovered that there is a shortage of therapeutic resources for these children. The illustrator, Theresa Bergman, MA-Interdisciplinary Arts, is passionate about applying fine arts to helping people understand and look at life in new ways. In illustrating these stories, her aim has been to depict scenes as the child character might have drawn them.
You can download a free copy of each storybook or purchase them in bundles of ten by visiting our online bookstore. Please click here!
Let’s Meet the Characters!
Jasmine is an eight-year-old girl whose mother is incarcerated in a federal prison far from where Jasmine and her two siblings now reside with their maternal grandmother. Because she was close to her mother, Jasmine struggles with not being able to visit her mother. She becomes engaged with a counselor who teaches her how to write letters to her mother and she learns that writing and receiving letters from her mother is a special way to stay connected with her. (For children ages 4 – 8)PDF Download Purchase
The father of 11-year-old Kenny Junior, or KJ as everyone calls him, is serving a life sentence in prison. KJ always wanted to be just like his dad. Now he worries that he is going to make the same mistakes his dad made and end up in prison too. KJ struggles with his identity and self-esteem. With the help of his Big Brother, he learns that he is capable of making his own decisions and is worthy of determining his own outcome. (For children 8 – 12)PDF Download Purchase
Six-year-old Bailey and her younger brother are living with a foster family while their mother is in prison. Bailey likes to visit her mom but is fearful about her release from prison. Life at home with her mother was very chaotic and at times scary. With the foster family she feels safe. Bailey works through her fears with a counselor as she prepares for her mother’s release from prison. (For children ages 7 – 10)PDF Download Purchase