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PRESS RELEASE: Washington Partnership Bolsters Parental Resilience, Documented in National Film

Released March 29, 2017

Contact Department of Corrections | Jeremy Barclay , (360) 515-6661

Contact Department of Early Learning | Genevieve Stokes , (360) 529-6318

The Department of Corrections and the Department of Early Learning have joined together in a special partnership featured on the U.S. Children's Bureau's newly released film. (Video courtesy of Administration for Children and Families)

OLYMPIA, WA – The United States Children's Bureau (CB) has released Building Community, Building Hope, the inaugural film in a planned series aimed at documenting what's working across the country to help prevent child maltreatment and promote child well-being.

In Washington, the Department of Corrections and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) joined together in a special partnership featured on the film, which focuses on innovative programs working to engage parents transitioning from confinement to communities and form the improved partnerships needed to ensure the safety and well-being of their children and families.

The video highlights some of the impacts of incarceration on children and families, and an innovative and unlikely partnership that has reached a sometimes overlooked population of children. Washington's Parent Sentencing Alternative is a law that allows eligible, incarcerated participants to remain or return home with their children to serve their sentence while receiving wrap-around services benefitting the family.

"The Washington Department of Corrections' ability to collaborate with partners throughout the state, while positively impacting the safety of citizens and children, is innovative and fulfilling," said Anmarie Aylward, Assistant Secretary for Community Corrections. "This program not only reduces recidivism but does that by improving the family lives of Washingtonians."

The Parent Sentencing Alternative was designed to reduce recidivism, address intergenerational incarceration, and promote efficient effective supervision practices.

"Investment in strong parent-child relationships is an effective way to improve outcomes for Washington's kids," said DCYF Director, Ross Hunter. "This partnership allows us to strengthen families and remove barriers for our most at-risk children, all while using preventative measures to promote healthy child development that could have a positive impact on Washingtonians in the future."

To date, there have been more than 300 participants that have completed the program. Only eight percent have gone back to prison after successfully completing the program.

The featurette An Unlikely Partnership and Building Community, Building Hope are both available at Child Welfare Services. A 'Take Action' discussion guide, as well as other resources, are also available to support practical use of the film.