SOMERVILLE, NJ – Parents, guardians and professionals who work with children and families are invited to a Somerset County Youth Service panel presentation on Friday, April 5, that will focus on parental incarceration.

Topics that will be discussed include the effects of parental incarceration on youth, ways to increase self-esteem and encourage compassion and forgiveness, family concerns and boundaries, child protection support services and the process of reunification, according to Somerset County Freeholder Shanel Y. Robinson.

Moderating the panel discussion will be Rev. Timothy J. Wolf, executive director of the Pioneer Family Success Center. Panel participants will include Jean Banti, executive director at Contextual Family Services; Patricia McLaughlin, family therapist; Lori Lupo, Department of Children and Families’ Division of Child Protection & Permanency and Claudia Hawse, student and daughter.

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The program will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the first floor conference room at the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren Street.  Free parking is available in the adjacent parking deck, third level or higher.

Walk-ins are welcome. The program fee is $20. Cash or checks will be accepted; checks should be made payable to Friends of Somerset County Youth, a 501(c) 3 organization.  Registration and a light breakfast will open at 8:30 a.m.

To reserve a seat in advance, contact Gretchen Craig or (908) 704-6333. Professional development credits will be made available.

This program is sponsored by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the county Youth Services Commission, Contextual Family Services and the Pioneer Family Success Center.

For more information, contact Cindy Britt at or (908) 704-6352.