Fostering, Empowering, and Advocating Together (FEAT) for Children of Incarcerated Parents was founded in 2011 to support at-risk children and youth with parent or family member who has been in conflict with the law.
Every year in Canada, over 150 000 adults are remanded into custody which results in approximately 350 000 innocent children who suffer from the traumatic effects of being separated from a parent in prison. Currently, more than 20 000 children in the Greater Toronto Area have an incarcerated parent. The multifaceted impact of being separated from a parent in jail is often devastating for the children left behind. Following parental imprisonment, innocent children are faced with a myriad of challenges including; family instability, economic insecurity and compromised self-esteem, trust, and sense of security in their familial relationships. Due to the stigma associated with parental incarceration, the majority of children suffer in silence and remain hidden in our classrooms, sports teams and communities.
Despite the growing prevalence of children affected by parental incarceration, the resources and access to supportive programming for these young victims are minimal in Canada. FEAT is the only organization in Ontario providing specific programming to support the unique needs of these at-risk children.
Since our inception, FEAT has been dedicated to helping these innocent victims in their feat to rise above adversity. Specifically, FEAT has developed, delivered and expanded our supportive programs to meet the unique needs of children impacted by parental and familial imprisonment. Our evidence-based programs foster the development of several protective factors, promote resilience and optimize the outcomes of these at-risk children, youth and families. The holistic design of our programs have shown to improve psychological health, advance educational outcomes and reduce the cycle of intergenerational crime.