GEO Reentry uses evidence-based programming in its reentry programs to empower probationers and parolees with the tools they need to succeed. To help program participants with children achieve familial stability, participants in both residential and non-residential GEO Reentry centers have access to parenting classes. These classes foster learning and skill-building in key areas and allows participants to practice parenting strategies and share personal experiences with their peers.
GEO Reentry uses the Partner in Parenting curriculum from Texas Christian University, a leader in behavioral research. The curriculum contains structured workshops that are tailored to each participant’s individual needs. Topics covered over the course of eight weekly meetings include:
- Building partnerships
- Active listening
- Helping children behave
- Self-care for parents
- Child development
- Building understanding
- Sensible discipline
- Tomorrow and beyond
Because discussions, homework and topics may trigger painful memories, GEO Reentry staff is encouraged to allow for longer or extra sessions as needed. Participants’ individual behavior change plans will also dictate how long they remain in parenting classes.
Designed to address the needs and concerns of participants in substance abuse programs, the Partners in Parenting curriculum also emphasizes providing support and helping parents understand a child’s needs and abilities during different developmental stages. GEO Reentry further supports this goal by hosting monthly Family Nights that encourage prosocial interactions and allow participants to involve their families in their recovery processes. During Family Nights, participants have the chance to engage with their children in fun activities designed to help them practice what they’ve learned in their parenting classes while building lasting bonds.
Participants also have access to parenting resources through GEO Reentry’s Community Connections program, which fosters partnerships with area organizations. For example, GEO Reentry’s Covington Day Reporting Center in Louisiana has an ongoing partnership with the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center, where participants have access to full and partial scholarships for court-ordered parenting classes.