See Us Support Us 2020
Boca Raton, FL, October 1, 2020 – Today, KidsMates announces its partnership with the Osborne Association for their sixth annual See Us, Support Us (SUSU) month. During October, SUSU highlights the needs and experiences of the millions of children in this country who experience a parent’s incarceration.
Joshua Martoma, a Co-Founder of KidsMates, and a SUSU 2020 Youth Ambassador says, "When my father first went to prison, I was devastated. Not only did I lose one of the most important figures in my life, but also I was exposed to painful shame and stigma. Fast forward to the present. As a co-founder of KidsMates and as a member of the first-ever Youth SUSU Team, I have the unique privilege of sharing my voice on behalf of the millions of children who face the harsh realities of having a parent in prison. Today marks the beginning of 2020’s See Us, Support Us month. I’m so proud to help shine a light on the silent American epidemic of parental incarceration."
Read the complete press release below.
See Us, Support Us 2020 Increases
Supports for Children with Incarcerated Parents this October:
6th Annual Year Highlights Tools for Educators
Thursday, October 1, 2020:
Today, the Osborne Association and our local, state, and national partners launch the sixth
annual See Us, Support Us (SUSU) month to highlight the needs and experiences of the
millions of children in this country who experience a parent’s incarceration. Guided by a national
advisory board and a youth team whose members have experienced parental incarceration,
SUSU 2020 focuses on supporting children’s educational success and wellbeing from
early childhood through college. COVID-19 presents unique challenges for the one in 14
children who experience a parent’s incarceration. Many students are navigating COVID,
returning to school or learning, all while missing their parent and worrying about them. SUSU
2020 offers tools and resources to educators—and other family-serving professionals—to
support these children and young people. Throughout October, SUSU will hold free virtual
events, share resources and tools on the SUSU website for school staff, and host an Art
Contest and other events for young people.
See Us, Support Us is a unique national initiative coordinated by the Osborne Association’s
New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents. While programs and advocacy on
behalf of children whose parents are incarcerated have increased over the past decade, this
experience remains largely hidden from public view and consideration. Children may experience
isolation, fear, confusion, and other challenging emotions and are often judged for their parent’s
choices. SUSU aims to counter this by raising awareness, spotlighting children’s strengths and
talents, and providing resources and tools to promote positive outcomes. The evidence is clear
that when supported, children of incarcerated parents thrive and succeed.
SUSU 2020 is a collaborative of nine organizations that serve or advocate on behalf of children
with incarcerated parents. These include the National Resource Center for Children and
Families of the Incarcerated, Bay Area Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership,
Connecticut Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative, Daughters Beyond Incarceration,
POPS the Club, Arizona State University Center for Child Well-Being, KidsMates, and We Got
"See Us, Support Us (SUSU) uniquely uplifts the voices and talents of children whose parents
are incarcerated, while also highlighting how difficult this experience can be, and the policy and
practice changes that are needed to support successful outcomes for children. SUSU provides
invaluable resources for all those who work with or care for children, with a special and timely
focus this year on tools for educators in the time of COVID, underscoring the importance of both
a trauma-informed and race equity lens. We're honored to partner with young people and
national leaders in launching SUSU 2020."
-- NY Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents,
"When my father first went to prison, I was devastated. Not only did I lose one of the most
important figures in my life, but also I was exposed to painful shame and stigma. Fast forward to
the present. As a co-founder of KidsMates and as a member of the first-ever Youth SUSU
Team, I have the unique privilege of sharing my voice on behalf of the millions of children who