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New group helps kids with incarcerated parents

CLYDE, Texas (KTAB) - A Callahan County 13 year old girl's father was sentenced to prison just last year and will stay there through her adult life.  Trying to help with her pain and frustration, her mother started a group for kids with incarcerated parents called KWIP.  It brings kids ages 10 to 18 together to talk about what they're going through with peers who understand.

Tatum Brown looks like a happy, healthy 13-year-old girl, and she is.

"I guess when people talk about how much fun it is to hang out with their dad..I don't get to do that," Tatum Brown said.

Just more than a year ago, Tatum's dad was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

"You can't call each other, again you don't get to see them. In order for me to see him I have to go through security, I have to do things I don't really feel comfortable doing," Tatum said.

She does have an amazing step dad who helps fill the void.

"He's basically my father figure," Tatum said.

But there's still things Tatum struggles with, her family doesn't understand.

"As a parent you feel very helpless when you can't fix what's wrong and this is a situation that nobody can fix and in the course of me coming to her and saying what can I do and how can I help her very frank answer was you can't," Tatum's mom and KWIP co-founder Tracy Brown said.

In a small town like Clyde, talk travels fast.

"Are you so and so's daughter and I was like yeah I am and he was like 'oh are you going to end up like him?" Tatum said.

That's just one of the comments Tatum's heard through the halls.

"Parents tell their kids things, kids hear things, kids repeat them it just all gets back to you and just gossip it's not true it's just mean and hurtful," Tatum said.

For Tatum, it was the support from her best friend that got her through it.

"It means a lot..knowing that their going to be by your side the whole time," Tatum said. "It would be harder to go to school, do things I love like basketball just be myself really."

Now, through a group her mom started called Kids With Incarcerated Parents or KWIP, Tatum hopes to be that same friend to kids just like her.

"That was my biggest goal when we started all of this," Tatum said.

KWIP meets on Sundays. To learn more about the group and how to join you can contact Tracy Brown at (325) 725-5946.

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