Programs


Parenting Education
Travel Assistance
 
MATCH Center:

Children visit with their mothers in the homelike setting of the MATCH Center, which they often call “Mom’s apartment.” MATCH Moms can have one three-hour visit each month.
  •  In the living area, children can snuggle on the couch with a book, or just talk to their moms.
  •  In the housekeeping area, children pretend to cook, produce creative art, and act out a healthy family life in the dollhouse.
  •  Children particularly enjoy challenging Mom to football or a variety of games for all ages.
  •  The kitchen is one of the favorite places for the family to gather to cook a meal, bake a cake, and enjoy eating together.
How are MATCH visits different from regular prison visitation?
 
 
REGULAR VISITATION
MATCH VISITS
 
Up to 25 families may visit at a time. Children must be accompanied by another adult throughout the visit.
Everyone must stay seated and limited physical contact is allowed.
Nothing is allowed in the room, including books, toys, games, or food.
Officers stand around the room watching the families as they visit and cameras monitor the room.
Caregivers receive no support in traveling from their homes to the prison.
 
One family visits at a time. Other adult family members are not present.
Hugging, snuggling, playing on the floor, and playing active games are encouraged.
There is an abundance of activities available, and food can be prepared in the kitchen.
Two trained volunteers supervise the visit.
The visit is between a mother and her children.
MATCH helps pay for gas when needed. Children who live too far away to drive are flown to Raleigh twice each year and provided with lodging and transportation.
 
Parenting Education

“I have learned to be a more patient and understanding mother. Now I know how to handle situations in a calmer way, through communication. In my daily life, I will use my new found patience to deal with other situations that occur.”
 
Most importantly, they must meet standards of good behavior to apply for MATCH, and then must maintain those standards to continue having visits with their children.
 
It is considered an honor for an inmate to be a MATCH Mom, and they do their best to retain this privilege.
 
Mothers complete a comprehensive parenting education course specifically designed for them that covers:
  • A critical look out how they were parented when they were growing up
  • Physical, social, emotional, and moral development of children
  • Effective communication skills
  • How to discipline children so that they grow into responsible adults
  • Negotiating responsibilities of co-parenting with their children’s caregivers
  • Resolving conflicts
MATCH Moms have continuing education through monthly Ongoing Parenting Classes and activities. Volunteers for MATCH visits prepare a written summary of the visit that includes the good parenting skills that they observed and any issues or concerns that need attention. Moms receive individual consultations and coaching as needed.
 
“I discovered that I can be more of a part of my child’s life than I ever imagined, even though I am locked up.”

“I have learned to be a more patient and understanding mother. Now I know how to handle situations in a calmer way, through communication. In my daily life, I will use my new found patience to deal with other situations that occur.”
 
Travel Assistance
 
MATCH children who live North Carolina are scattered across the state. The average distance they must travel to Raleigh for a visit is about 125 miles one way. Not only is the cost of gas and food along the way an added expense for financially strapped families, but the trip often takes all day.
 
MATCH provides money to caregiver to pay for gas when this is needed. When caregivers cannot bring children, volunteers step in to drive the children to Raleigh.
 
Some children now live with caregivers in other states. MATCH currently has children who live in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and New York.
 
MATCH brings out-of-state children and a caregiver to Raleigh twice each year by plane, train, or bus. They stay in a local hotel and are given transportation to the prison for visits each day they are here. Many of these children would never see their mothers without this assistance.
 
Special Events
 
Children whose mothers are in prison miss sharing the many of the holiday and special events that happen each year, and that is when they often feel the loneliest. By helping them feel connected to their mothers at these special times, their connections grow stronger and they develop memories that carry them through the ordinary days.
 
WINTER CELEBRATION

Each December, MATCH throws a festive holiday party for all of the Moms, their children, and the children’s caregivers. The families gather around the table for a delicious dinner. MATCH moms particularly enjoy showing off their children to their friends. Pictures with Santa and a bag of gifts for every child add to the excitement.

MATCH is grateful to the food venders of the Golden Corral Corporation for the generous donation of food and the Edenton St. United Methodist Church for sponsoring an “Angel Tree” for gifts for the children.
 
BIRTHDAYS

Every child’s birthday is special, and what better day is there for mothers to show their love? Moms choose a present from the “Birthday Closet” which is stocked with donated gifts appropriate for all ages. They can give the gift at a MATCH visit or have it mailed to arrive at the child’s home on that special day. We also have birthday themed decorations and paper products to add to the party atmosphere.
 
BACK TO SCHOOL

Do you remember shopping for new school supplies each year and how proud you were of your new crayons, notebooks, and pencils? MATCH Moms can’t go shopping, but when they give a bag of new donated supplies to their children, they show them the importance of school and education, and children feel like their mothers care about their daily lives.
 
MOTHER’S DAY DINNER

MATCH Moms make a significant commitment to their children when they join MATCH. Although their children cannot celebrate with them, they are honored each year in May with a special dinner, entertainment, and a special gift. Again, we thank all of those who donate food and time to make this evening meaningful.
 

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