Rehabilitation Programs Division
Volunteer Services Program
2011 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards
Texas SKIP (Supporting Kids of Incarcerated Parents)
Best Family Program
Texas SKIP was born from a visit to the Hawaii Department of Corrections that hosted the Good Beginnings program for offenders and their families. Claudette Edwards returned from her trip to Hawaii wondering if a similar program would benefit TDCJ offenders and their families. As director of Teeter Totter Village, a 24-hour child development center in Houston, Ms. Edwards was very much aware of the impact incarceration had on her clients and the community. With her personal financing and determination to help as many children as possible, Ms. Edwards began to develop Texas SKIP. The program is designed to work simultaneously with the offender, their children, and the caregiver of the children. The offender and caregiver participate in the same sessions on parenting so that both are using the same learned methods to prevent sending mixed signals to the child, leading to confusion and resentment. The program brings the children and offender parent together for playtime and learning activities which allow the offender to put these new skills into practice. The offender becomes more confident as a parent and their children become more receptive to the offender parent returning home. Texas SKIP continues to provide support to the offender and their children after release. For their dedication to helping build and restore family relationships, Texas SKIP has been selected to receive the volunteer award for Best Family Program.