A support group for parents of adult kids in prison can offer encouragement, hope, and friendship. Support can truly make a difference. Parents can find unconditional and nonjudgmental help from other parents who understand the hurt, pain and frustration. The group can also offer advice on how to deal with anger, legal red tape and much more.
If you are considering forming a support group for parents with incarcerated children, the following suggestions are places to consider on where to advertise a group.
Church bulletins are an effective way to make community announcements public. However, not all churches will agree to sharing it, as their bulletin space is limited. However, you are sure to find a few that would be happy to include the information in their church bulletin.
You can either call the church office, or mail letters to the church secretary or minister. Start by contacting the churches with the biggest phone book ads first. Call the ones who advertise frequently on commercials, billboards, etc. If the secretary or minister says they will not be able to include it, kindly ask them to please pass the information along to anyone who has an adult child (or juvenile) in jail or prison.
A newspaper announcement will reach thousands of community members. Most newspapers have a section for community events, and will list the group for free, along with other support groups. Some smaller newspapers will even run a small article for you. If the paper cannot include it for free, consider purchasing a small ad. Your investment could make a tremendous difference in helping the group grow.
Community Bulletin Boards
A third resource is local community bulletin boards. Many grocery stores and coffee shops have free boards, where you can post a simple flier. You can also find bulletin boards at Mardell’s, Hastings and other stores.
Make the flier simple, but friendly. Type “Is your son or daughter in prison? Are you searching for support and encouragement? Want to find friendship through this difficult time? Please join a local support group for parents with adult children who are incarcerated.” Be sure to include the website link, or your phone number. Avoid listing the meeting location and times on the flier.
Craigslist is a free online resource to get news out to the community. Search for the site for the city closest to your area. Post the group information the in the general section, as well the as the groups area. You might continue to post every month or so.
Other Support Groups
Another idea is to contact support group leaders of other needs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Tell the leader about the group you are starting, and if there is a member who has a child in prison to please let him or her know about the group. To find support groups, try calling 211 from a land line phone and asking for referrals. (Read this article here for more information about 211.)
Join the online mom’s group for your area on cafemom.com. Tell forum members about the group,, and ask them to pass the information along if they know a parent with a child in prison.
Lastly, if possible, contact the prison’s chaplain. He might provide you with additional tips on how to advertise the group.
These are just a few suggestions on how to advertise a support group for parents with adult children in prison. A support group can be a lifeline to someone in need. It can’t change everything, but it can make a difference.