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Mentoring for HOPE

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The Picard Center is thrilled by another strong showing in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Recognition Awards!

Professor Paula Zeanah, Research Excellence Award for 2019-20 recognizing her exceptional scholarship in her home Co

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UL Lafayette celebrates research excellence with faculty recognition

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette honored faculty Feb. 11 during an annual ceremony for research excellence.

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Welcome to the team!

Welcome to our new grad assistant and our new student workers for the Spring 2022 semester. 

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UL Lafayette's Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development & Lifelong Learning is collaborating with the Department of Counselor Education and The Family Tree to study the impact of family reunification and mentoring programs offered to incarcerated mothers. Mentoring for HOPE (Helping Offenders Parent Effectively) is a three-year grant awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as part of the Second Chance Act to strengthen relationships between young mothers and children. The ultimate purpose of Project HOPE is to empower and enable inmates who are parents to remain present in their children’s lives as well as to reduce recidivism rates and increase self-sufficiency that leads to a productive and positive mother-child relationship.

Led by Ray Biggar (Principal Investigator at UL Lafayette), Ph.D., Craig Forsyth, Ph.D., and Karen Burstein, Ph.D., the work to be completed by the Picard Center will entail an external evaluation, which will yield generative formative progress and a summative evaluation of outcomes. Additional team members from the Picard center include Jing Chen, M.S. (Co-Principal Investigator and Data Analyst) and Alisha Bourque, M.S. (program coordinator for Circle of Security). Dr. Latify LaFleur, Ph.D. and Associate Professor in UL Lafayette's Department of Counselor Education, will serve as the coordinator for mentoring activities and will work with project staff on developing mentoring/training curriculum and supervising program facilitators recruited from the Counselor Education graduate program.

For 15 years, The Family Tree, in partnership with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, has provided a "parenting skills and family reunification" program called Project HOPE (Helping Offenders Parent Effectively) to inmates housed in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center (LPCC). In this program, they provide teaching skills, infused with reunification curriculum, for post-incarcerated mothers, which will lead to greater self-sufficiency.