you write to the children, you will be entering into a personal relationship between the child and yourself. We will not be
able to monitor what you say to the children, or what the children say to you. We would, however, like to offer the following
tips and guidelines.
1. Many of the children we help have had a lot of problems in their lives. They are in locked facilities for
different reasons. We recommend that you don't ask too much about what they've done, or lecture them... at least not at first!
It can be more positive to have a relationship in their lives that is NOT based around WHAT HAPPENED to put them in a locked
facility. They may also be a little uncomfortable with adults, and starting out on a light-hearted, unaccusing note may be
better for them.
2. Of course, if the children write to you about what happened in their lives to bring them to the locked
facility, that's a different story. They may want an adult to confide in.
3. The child might ask you to send money or gifts. Of course, this is up to you, but we'd recommend working on
building a supportive relationship with the child first. Also, if at any time you do wish to send the child something, please
find out what they are allowed to recieve. Different facilities have different contraband lists. We will post some of them
when we can!
4. We are not an evangelical organization or a prison mission. The kids we help come from all sorts of religious
backgrounds, or possibly none. Our job is not to try to convince them to join our religion, or to tell them that if they concentrated
on religion their problems would be easier. Perhaps you could ask the child about HIS OR HER beliefs and what helps HIM OR
HER get through tough times!
5. Remember, it is up to you to be the responsible adult in the relationship! If the child asks you to do something
illegal, or something you feel at all uncomfortable with, DON'T DO IT! Many of these kids have been through "the system" and
have learned to be pretty manipulative. Rely on your instincts! If you have a question, feel free to email one of us! We will
also soon have an online support group for adult penpals to join, so you could post your questions and concerns to others!
6. You can choose to stop writing to your child at any time. If you do, though, please notify us, so we can find
the child another penpal!