Category: We Help Father’s and Their Families

Reentry Support


An Earnest Look At The Success Reentry Support Groups Can Provide.
by Earnell Brown

Taking an earnest look at what reentry support groups are and the honest and open communication that is necessary to make them effective tools for returning citizens is absolutely necessary.

There are three key tools that can reach the returning citizen that we are missing in the current reentry support industry.

mentorOne, Experience, the key that tells the returning citizen that they are (a) not alone and someone has been there before, (b) that change is possible and is within their grasp if they want it and are willing to work for it.

Two, Strength, the key that tells the returning citizen (a) that they too can succeed in spite of the odds or their perception it can be done by them and (b) that there is support and the support is real honest and trustworthy.

Three, Hope, the key that (a) has awaken the spirit of success and possibility in the returning citizen and (b) keeps the returning citizen thriving once the possibility awakes in them and they realize that they can succeed and never have to be a prisoner or subjected to the punitive control of another ever again.

The experience based success, freedom and relief reentry support groups can provide.

mentoringThe experience based opportunities for success and freedom reentry support groups can provide is invaluable in the successful transition of a person from prison to society. Many individuals returning to society after incarceration are very fearful of returning to prison, failing at being a productive member of society or doing it all for nothing.

Many of these individuals have had very traumatic life experiences or have very poor self esteem regardless of their confidence in their criminal behavior and methods and cannot make it without the strength and support of another person who has.

There is no substitute for a reintegration success story like one that shows and asks the participant by the walk of another to “Look where I was, where I am, and asks how I can help you get through to here.” This is the Common experience based support that then gives the opportunity to provide the second of the three key tools.

The strength that safe and productive environments and reentry support groups provide.

The Strength that safe and productive environments with an atmosphere of honesty open-mindedness willingness and success that has a familiar story and face is also an invaluable tool that cannot be substituted because it provides strength.

Society for someone coming from a prison or jail in a seemingly endless and vicious cycle of prison or jail, failures, disappointments, disillusionment and disenchantment can be very scary.

Potentially facing now that very same seemingly hostile society whose underbelly the person is intimately familiar with cannot be faced alone with any expectation of success from the individual or society itself.

Insecurity, previous personal attempts at meaningful and successful reintegration and the collectively insurmountable seemingly singular actual barriers and odds are all a person who has no real connection to a positive and productive face or feature of society can see. With the support of others who have overcome all of this the returning citizen can now put together and see how it can be done.

The hope and resources re-entry support groups provide.

Reentry support groups through the open and honest conversations, tools and rectification of intrinsic and extrinsic negative influences provide hope.

men-workingThe actual existence of real and working resources for educational opportunities, meaningful employment opportunities, and housing opportunities are critical resources. Development through group resources, activities and support, in personal areas such as the development of familial acceptance, support and positively motivated respect are high value intrinsic motivators that the returning citizen gain back through participation in reentry support group activities. Community involvement and inclusion is important.

Opportunities with the hope that they will work provides earnest and honest desires for the participant based on new and positive intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Thus true hope for a better and brighter future is born for the participant.

Potential impact of reentry support groups.

Reentry support groups are invaluable and underutilized tools that can actually be the difference in crime reduction efforts and the corresponding statistics, lower recidivism rates, lower numbers in new offenses among recidivists, safer communities and more effective uses of human and financial resources in the reentry industry.

Giving returning citizens a reason to care is critical to the development of a better and safer tomorrow.

While Dad’s Away

Dad is gone

While Dad’s Away
by Linda De Carvalho

Dad is gone

Time clicks slowly while dad’s away, especially if he is gone for an extended period of time. Days, weeks, months, and years without dad can make life difficult for the family. Alone as head of the household, mom is left to meet the needs of her children, pay the bills, do the shopping, and possibly find work.

Although this sounds like a tall order, there are single parents who accomplish these feats every day. Of course, that doesn’t make the struggle any easier. Running things at home as a single parent is a challenge and you’ll need all the help you can get. Here are some things to consider as you take on this huge responsibility:

  1. Be the rock. If you find yourself alone raising the kids without dad, it’s important to remember that they need to feel secure. Having a solid foundation under their feet is critical. If they know you will always be there, they will be better prepared to weather any storm. Find ways to show the kids that they are not alone. Whenever possible, show up at practice or the big game. Or send a note in their lunch to be found and read later in the day. Tell them how much you love them, how much they mean to you, and that you will always be there.
  2. Accept the challenge and make a list. Like it or not, you have a big job to do and you will need to be in the right frame of mind to get it done. No one expects perfection in life’s daily arena, so just do the best you can. Start with making a list of all the things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and so on. Keep the list handy so you can refer to it often. If you are a techie, create the list on your smart phone, and if you need to, set alarms to remind you of the tasks.
  3. Get help! Rally together family and friends to lend a hand when you need it most. Kids can be especially helpful for small jobs around the house like emptying the trash, sweeping the floor, folding clothes, etc. You can also find local and online resources to help you with finances, support groups, and more. For example, here are a couple of websites to check out that provide lots of resources: Building Families Together and this government website
  4. Keep the lines of communications open. If you don’t already do this, begin holding a family meeting weekly. Bring the kids together to talk about their needs and how you and their siblings can help. After all, you are all in this together and you will need to keep a united front to support each other in any way possible. And don’t just talk about problems. Maybe invite each family member to bring a new joke to each meeting to loosen up any tensions. Use meeting time to discuss how the family can have fun together or plan a fun activity during the meeting that they can all participate in like playing a game or making cookies.
  5. Keep the family busy. Children will feel a void while dad’s away and will appreciate and benefit from activities that are fun and teach them something at the same time. Encourage the kids to play sports or sign up them up at your local parks and recreation center for other activities that help reinforce the values of working together and teamwork.

Above all, be good to yourself! Stay away from negative people who can make your journey harder. You’ll be happier and better off finding positive folks to share ideas and a cup of coffee. Finally, don’t expect too much from yourself on any given day. 

Daddy’s Home

Welcome home daddy

Daddy’s Home!
by Linda De Carvalho

Man having it hardComing home from incarceration may be as challenging as surviving the prison sentence itself. In many ways, it’s starting all over again. And just like adjusting to the prison system, going home will require a readjustment to an environment that may not be as familiar as it used to be. Of course, reentry into society may take much longer to prepare for, especially when considering things such as finding work, parole issues, overcoming discrimination and biases, acting independently, staying healthy, and staying clear of trouble.

Like their loved ones who have been released from prison, families will also find themselves having to make some readjustments when dad returns home. Kids may have dreams or issues about what it will be like that special day when they finally get to share a meal, have a talk, or just sit with dad on the couch. Seemingly routine, these moments may represent some of the biggest and most significant for a family whose head has just returned from months or years of jail time. But it won’t be easy.

Welcome home daddyFamilies who are struggling with how to cope with an upcoming return of an incarcerated family member may need to seek external help depending on their individual situation. But one thing is for sure, they shouldn’t wait until the last minute to figure out what to do. Preparation for dad’s return should begin sooner rather than later. How soon prepping for the big day may vary depending on each family’s individual circumstances but should begin as soon as possible. That said, the family will need to recognize that dad’s return will not be free of negative emotions that can surface in the form of arguments, the blame game, anger, resentment, and more.

Here are some thoughts about what the family may do to help prepare themselves and dad for his return:

1. Mental preparation. – Getting used to any idea, especially a big change, can take a long time. The sooner family members start thinking about dad’s return the better. Seek advice from your child’s teacher to determine how soon to tell the youngest members of the family.

2. Family discussions. Open the door to regular family discussions to help sort out feelings of all family members. Talking about the event before it happens can help everyone in the household feel more secure about dad’s return. But be prepared to answer uncomfortable questions and seek professional advice when necessary.

3. Positive environment. Helping to create a positive environment may be easier said than done. Get the kids involved in projects like making a welcome banner, cooking a special homecoming meal, creating a special card, etc. that will help reunite the family and move emotions and expectations in the right direction.

4. Keep expectations of the big day realistic. Although the family may be flying high about dad’s return, he may not be sharing the same feelings. After all, he has quite a lot to deal with in the upcoming months, if not years, trying to acclimate to being a free man, reuniting with his family, getting a job, meeting parole requirements and more. He may not be ready to celebrate.

5. Keep conflicts in check. The stress of returning to society is real for dad and will take a while for him to get used to settling back in. Family support is critical. Dad, of course, will need to do his part by staying away from issues that could cause family conflict, like returning to drugs or crime. On the other hand, family members should recognize and support his efforts to do the best he can during his struggles.

And don’t forget to find ways to help dad with his return. Join support groups who can share their experiences and give you sound advice. Find government materials and special programs that help provide support for the family and the returning parent. Follow nonprofit organizations like Building Families Together on Facebook or Twitter who are advocates for prisoners and their return to society. The more prepared you are, the better the results.

The Power of The Family Takes Commitment

Family Hug

The Power of The Family Takes Commitment
by Linda De Carvalho

man looks shockedAfter weeks of feeling sick, Fred finally went to see the doctor. After his examination, the doctor pulled his wife aside and told her, “Your husband’s diagnosis is dismal but maybe you can turn things around. Try making him feel comfortable with three home-cooked meals each day, a back rub every morning, breakfast in bed, full massage in the afternoon, and keep the house spotless.” Later that evening, Fred asked his wife, “What did the doctor tell you?” Her answer was swift, “You’re dying!”

Of course, this story was meant to be funny but also it illustrates how commitment may be difficult for many of us. No matter how much you may love someone, when a problem comes around, it might seem easier to just disappear for a while. Or what about that big purchase you made! You signed that huge agreement without reading it. Then when something goes wrong, you go back to that big document looking for a way out.

Committing to someone or something means sticking through the good times and the bad. And when family members commit to each other, their united front can be very powerful and help all family members withstand storms. The power of the family is not about wealth, status, or lineage. Family power is about staying together because you are better together. It’s all for one and one for all! You share common goals like watching a favorite show or going to the beach. But you also respect each other’s opinions when you don’t agree.

Here’s some ways to make your family more powerful!

Family HugStart with a hug. Let those positive emotions surface with a hug. Not only will your feelings improve, hugs also provide some bonus health benefits! When you hug, your body’s oxytocin levels are boosted helping to calm your nerves, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and help you to sleep.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you” or “I’m sorry.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes these words might be hard to say. Just ask your kids! Communication does wonders for any relationship. It’s important to express our feelings so we are not misunderstood. Many times, just hearing the right words from a loved one makes all the difference in the world.

You’re on the same team. Remember that being a family is not a competition. All members are winners when they stay together and move in a positive direction. Ask yourself how you can help or support another family member with a problem or project they’re working on.

Create with some fun. Find some time to do an activity that everyone in the family will love. Maybe share a movie night, trip to the park, or play your favorite game. Don’t forget that old saying, “the family that plays together, stays together.” Doing fun things as a family can help to keep everyone’s spirits up and strengthen ties.

Family FunTake advantage of the good times! Remind each other how wonderful it is to be a family when things are going well. Trust me, you need to bond when things are rosy because it’s much harder to do when all trouble breaks loose. Don’t let an opportunity to share the joys of being a family pass you by. Maybe one of your kids just told a funny joke or you just finished taking a family group selfie—both would be a great time to let your family know how much they mean to you. Or maybe a big group hug is more your style. Either way, do something that expresses your feelings and helps to strengthen the bond between you.

Keep in mind that members feel more secure when they know that they are part of a group that cares about them. With life’s ups and downs, keeping the family together is powerful and makes good sense. You’ll always have someone to turn to when you need help with a project, need a big hug, or maybe just a shoulder to cry on.

5 Steps to Help You Through A Non-Perfect Life


5 Steps to Help You Through A Non-Perfect Life
by Linda De Carvalho

Nature WalkThe images are everywhere! You know, the ones featuring the happy couple walking hand in hand on some beautiful beach at sunset. Or, maybe it’s an internet ad that shows a picture-perfect family with smiling faces at the dinner table. And let’s not forget the life-defining social media posts! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become the new digital family albums. It’s seems everyone is scrambling to snap, share, and admire flawless pictures of the baby, the happy couple, the birthday child, or an amazing restaurant dish before it’s devoured.

Framing our lives is becoming all-consuming for some us. On the surface it looks like more people than ever are “living the dream.” If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, the countless number of images should suggest that we are truly happy and going through life without a care.

cell phone dinner tableREALLY!?! When was the last time you found yourself sitting at the dinner table with all family members present and smiling? And if they are present and smiling, they are more likely than not, interacting with their mobile devices. If you’re a parent, how long did it really take to get the baby to pose just right? Oh, and the happy couple in that Facebook photo, they are now divorced.

There’s no doubt that life can be rough at times. If we took pictures of our lives during a 24-hour period, the reality may be that we are all struggling to make it through countless situations that pop up. Our days may resemble an endless stream of challenges—some big, some small. And just when you feel that you’ve made it and your life is absolutely perfect like one of those ads, something pops up and catches you off guard. You know, like when you finally get a big tax refund just in time for the car to break down!

Facing problems and the non-perfect side of life may leave you wondering how you got to this place. Why do things always seem to happen to you? You may find yourself shouting, “this isn’t what I signed up for!”

So, how can you get through this non-perfect life?

  1. Your life is unique. Equating your life against an image that a clever marketing professional dreamed up to sell a product or against another’s internet post is not a fair or true comparison. Everyone’s situation is different and made up of a unique history and future!
  2. Look past the perfect image. Realize that we are all in the same situation and just doing the best we can. A picture literally reflects a mere moment in time, not everyday life. For example, that smiling baby picture doesn’t reveal that this same cutie pie won’t sleep and that the baby formula and diapers are expensive.
  3. Don’t let others define you. Pictures can label a person or situation. They don’t always tell the story behind a life. Always stay true to who you are and who you strive to be. Stop trying to live up to someone else’s expectations or dreams.
  4. Stay strong and strive to make it better. Just because everyday trials and tribulations are a part of life doesn’t mean you’re stuck! Staying healthy in mind and body is a great place to start; then strive to improve your situation. Explore your options and discover new ways to stay positive, active, and strong. Try to make the most of each day by simply doing the best that you can. Also, remember that the most difficult moments in life can make you stronger.
  5. Don’t go it alone. Talk about problems with others. Learn what they have done to help them get through similar problems or situations. Seek professional help when you need it.

Finally, there is NO perfect life! Stop blaming yourself or others for not having what you think is the ultimate situation. Perfection is not an option, only something that is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Don’t believe me? Drop by unannounced one day on that so-called perfect family and you may be surprised at what you see!

Portrait of Happy Family Piled Up In Park


And if you happened to be someone who feels they’ve made it in life, try to help someone else get there. The journey is far more important than what is measured by others.


We Help Fathers & Their Families


Resources Provided
by Building Families Together

 resourcesA lot of work and effort goes into providing the right resources to fathers who have just been released from jail/prison. Once you are legally recognized as an offender many things change. Building Families Together’s resources are here to help you deal with those changes. The way people see and interact with you is different once you are out of prison. Because of the history of incarceration, it can hinder the process of finding employment, housing, and successful reentry.

Different Kind of Service

Community correction includes the supervision and management of returning citizens to keep them away from any kind of situation that could lead to recidivism. Many times, community correction also becomes a substitute of punishment for an offence. It is imperative for the people going through community service to report to their community correction officer and sometimes they also need to join a community service program or a rehabilitation program.

Our services provide help to the returning citizensOur services provide help to the returning fathers that will best serve them on the successful reintegration back home and into society. This is done through giving interventions to returning citizens that want to make a positive difference in their lives and their families lives. We focus on reducing the involvement of returning citizen from the criminal justice system. Building Families Together promotes law-abiding lifestyles among returning fathers so that they become good citizens, husbands, and fathers.

Why Should You Choose Us? 

The main objective of our services is to promote healthy family structures and crime prevention. We try to identify the reasons that sends fathers back to jail/prison. In doing this, it is important to look at things through their perspective and come up with acceptable resources. We provide resources that can assist the entire family unit that helps them be productive and creative, distracting them from constant negative emotions that could harm the family.

reentry Navigating this reentry process on your own can be terrifying. We know that no father wants to risk their chance of being re-incarcerated and taken away from their family. Allow us to guide you because we have dedicated individuals ready to serve. We help with employment opportunities, education, mental health, housing, house hold items, clothing, food, etc. In addition, we independently represent and work for you to find the best professionals resources that meet your individual needs.

Counseling Services

We also provide counseling for a vast variety of reasons e.g substance abuse, mental health, and family counseling.

Educational Services 

Community libraries and Building Families Together is working together to provide educational services are made possible. For instance, obtaining a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED). Each person’s case is individually planned according to the requirements needed.


Changing the moral and general attitude of returning citizens towards the society is our paramount concern. Changing negative and un-trusting attitudes into something which makes them more involved and aware. In addition, eliminating systemic racial discrimination or any other kind of discrimination based on the surroundings of the returning citizen. We ourselves also do not discriminate while providing our services and we make sure everyone gets equal and fair treatment from our staff and volunteers. We promise that our services are egalitarian.


partnerships in our communityBuilding Families Together researches possible work sites and partnerships in our community to service our clients. While keeping in mind the criminal history of our client. Through our partnerships we can provide a wide variety of services. IKEA is now hiring our clients and immediate openings are available. Providing social and intellectual development for our client in the best possible manner bringing a change in society. We can provide the best possible services and we promise to fulfill our tasks with utmost sincerity.