The Harbor, a residential reentry center operated by GEO Reentry Services and located in Newark, N.J., held a graduation ceremony on February for 17 residents who successfully completed the InsideOut Dad® program at the center.
The Harbor provides residential reentry services for individuals who are referred from the New Jersey Department of Corrections and offers individual and group counseling, GED preparation, anger management, family services, job skills, 12-step education, as well as domestic violence prevention and mentoring.
Family Services Coordinator Jacqueline Boleware manages the InsideOutDad® program at The Harbor, along with two co-facilitators. InsideOut Dad® is used in rehabilitation centers and prisons across the country to strengthen families upon reunification. This comprehensive course with a focus on mindfulness and positive communication was designed to help fathers successfully engage with their children upon returning home.
“It’s very encouraging to see so many residents who are eager to participate in the InsideOut Dad® course,” said Boleware. “We’re seeing the program grow and succeed, and residents are very receptive and willing to learn. We even have a waiting list to sign up.”
With family and staff members looking on, several graduates who received certificates of completion spoke about how the program has already helped them enjoy a better relationship with their children. At the event, Frank Gonzalez, national manager of family services for GEO Reentry, took the time to remind residents of the significance of their achievement.
“Now comes the hard part, where you put into action what you learned in the program and work with your children,” said Gonzalez. “It’s so important to be there for them. You want your children to be proud of you.”
Going forward, The Harbor will offer continued care for these 17 program graduates by providing them with educational materials that contain information about future treatment recommendations and resources in the community.