The back to school season is one of great anticipation mixed with nervous excitement. It means new beginnings: a new grade, new teacher, new classes and sometimes even a new school and new friends. It’s also the time for new clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. That is for most! For over 15,000 children and youth across the Greater Toronto Area heading back to school may look and feel very different. These are the children and youth in our cities that are impacted by parental incarceration.
Project: Restore FIBI is an organization that serves and supports families with a loved one in the justice system. We offer a multi-pronged, family focused approach that helps a family address, cope with, manage and overcome the daily and longer-term challenges of their circumstances. We believe that strong families are the foundation of our communities so our vision is to see all families strengthened, affirmed and included to reinforce the strength of our communities and to construct brighter futures for all. Our mission is to keep these families intact and thriving by mitigating the negative effects of incarceration ultimately restoring the integrity (values, strength and stability) of the family and effectively impeding the individual and generational cycle of incarceration. We essentially do what we do in an effort to change the trajectory of the children in these families who are affected by parental, sibling or other familial incarceration. We want to support every family member and give them access to the crucial resources and opportunities that will help them all, individually and collectively, navigate the path of success, fulfill their dreams and reach their fullest potential, and give back to their communities (make a lasting positive impact). We facilitate the restoration of families impacted by incarceration through support services, advocacy, reform and by leveraging the inherent power of family.