Offer Hope, Restore Dignity, & Transform Lives

Healing Families

A holistic approach to helping families affected by incarceration

The mission of the Healing Families program is to help facilitate successful family reunification for clients who are transitioning out of the criminal justice system.

The program helps men and women leaving jail and/or prison work through personal trauma issues, restore family relationships, recover from substance abuse issues, successfully reenter their community, increase their personal and work satisfaction, and increase awareness and knowledge of parenting.

Kasi shares her story of recovery and family connection.

There are five components of the Healing Families program:

  1. Women's programming: Individual and group treatment focused on increasing parenting skills, healthy relationship skills, anger management skills, and skills to heal from past trauma. There are family suites at Theodora House where moms can have overnight visits with their children. Licensed clinicians in the Behavioral Health Clinic provide classes and one-on-one sessions.
  2. Family programming: Look Up & Hope is an initiative to strengthen and support families affected by maternal incarceration. This program was recently recognized as an evidence based practice for children of color with incarcerated mothers. Community volunteers also lead recreational activities for parents and their children who take part in Healing Families. Read about Joyce's experience with the program to learn more.
  3. Fatherhood programming: Individual and group treatment focused on increasing skills in regards to parenting, healthy relationships, anger management, and reducing family violence.
  4. Aftercare programming: A home-based case manager will follow the families for one year post discharge from Volunteers of America facilities to insure successful family reunification.

"The Healing Families program has really saved my life. I took individual therapy and was able to work through everything I had been through. I took parenting classes, substance abuse classes and grief counseling, and now I'm part of a family coach program, preparing me to leave."


The TANF Program

The TANF program is similar in structure to the Healing Families program, but serves a specific demographic. It takes referrals from parole and community corrections in Marion County and the prisons in Putnamville and Edinburgh. Clients must have a relationship with a person under the age of 18 that lives in a TANF eligible household.

For more information contact Greta Compton at or (317) 737-1200.

Look Up &Hope: Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration

Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty for children affected by incarceration and walk beside them as they reach their full potential. 


Since 1896, Volunteers of America has been serving prisoners and their families. Reform and redemption were core values promulgated by founders Maud and Ballington Booth. Maud believed in a holistic approach when working with people touched by incarceration, and it is in that vein Volunteers of America advances with its Look Up and Hope: Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration initiative. 

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