Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . Puget Sound Educational Service District (ESD)


Type of Activity: Program Services

Funding Mechanism: The primary funding source is a portion of the Early Head Start (EHS) federal funds given to Puget Sound ESD (10CH0104). The women who have their children in the child care center also receive Working Connections Child Care subsidies through Washington State. The Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) contributes staff time as well as facilities and maintenance costs associated with the parent living space, the child care center, parent meeting space and staff office space.

Total Available FundingTotal amount for the EHS grant is $1,655,838 for operations (PA25) and $41,396 for Training and Technical Assistance (PA1126) to serve 125 total children. The EHS WCCW partnership will serve 8 pregnant women/children in FY11 using approximately $220,000.

Number of Awards: 1

Award Amount: Same as total available funding

Length of Project Period: Ongoing discretionary EHS funding

Federal Partners: EHS and Child Care (through State Subsidies)

There are also many community partnerships that contribute to the success of this program including:

  • Rebuilding families: Community volunteers offer transitional support to women releasing to Pierce, Kitsap and King Counties
  • Baby Read: Washington State Library volunteer coordinates early literacy program where WCCW staff volunteer off-duty time to read and sing with children on J Unit and in the Child Development Center
  • Doula Volunteers: Weekly childbirth preparation classes and childbirth support

Summary: The incarcerated mothers who enroll their child in EHS at WCCW are first chosen to be part of the Residential Parenting Program ( RPP). RPP is a collaborative effort between Puget Sound ESD Early Head Start and the Department of Corrections and is the only on-site state licensed child development center funded by Early Head Start.

Eligibility to enter the RPP program includes:

  • Must be pregnant before becoming incarcerated
  • Must be classified as minimum custody
  • Must be willing to meet program standards
  • Must be eligible for release by the time the child reaches thirty months old

Home based services include:

  • Enrolled prenatally with bi-weekly home visits
  • Weekly home visits when baby is born
  • New Moms Group (socializationgroup) meets twice monthly

Center based services include:

  • State-licensed childcare with WCCC childcare subsidy
  • One month and older when Mom returns to "programming"
  • Monthly home visits

Background: The WCCW RPP and Early Head Start program began in 1999. It is seen in the community as a model program that reduces recidivism, increases mother/child bonding and attachment, and positively affects many inmates and staff at WCCW.

Current grantee: Puget Sound Educational Service District

Location(s) of Projects: Gig Harbor, WA

Evaluation Activities: N/A at this time.

Future Prospects: The program will continue as it is now as long as Early Head Start and state corrections funding is available. It has served over 100 babies and their mothers. Because of space restrictions in the prison, there are no plans to expand this program.


Melissa Calhoun
OHS Program Specialist, Region X
Phone: (206)615-2557
Email: melissa.calhoun@acf.hhs.gov

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