Welcome to COIPP

Helping Families in need is our passion

The organization Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership was founded a number of years ago to help a special group of children in Frederick County, Maryland. Started by one person, it quickly grew to be an organization supported by ‘mid managers’ from a variety of non-profit agencies in Frederick, Maryland. Our belief is that children of incarcerated parents are a group of children who lack a voice of their own. Our work and our mission is to give them such a voice in the community, in the schools, and in their family. We are proud to say that we have been an official non-profit organization since 2011.

Activities have included, but are not limited to, the following for the children as well as their caregivers and the parents in jail:

  • Weekend children’s activities
  • Resource fairs for jail visitors
  • Distribution of quality children’s books
  • Recordable bears for the children
  • Scholarships for caregivers, parents released from jail, and children who were impacted by incarceration
  • Caregiver respite meetings
  • Emergency gift cards
  • Parenting classes at the jail
  • Caregiver workshops

For the community, our work has included:

  • Symposiums
  • Presentations at churches, synagogues and community gatherings
  • Participation in community workshops

It is important to note that all of this has been accomplished through the volunteer efforts and hard work of a few committed people and the support of their many friends.

COIPP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy

Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership is committed to creating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable where all staff, participants, partners, vendors, and board members are treated with respect, dignity, and appreciation.

For the purposes of this statement, the following definitions apply. Diversity refers to race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual identity, familial status, age, disability, socio-economic status and citizenship status. Inclusion is valuing, respecting, and encouraging the full participation of each individual in the life and leadership of the organization. Equity is a process that ensures that all people have the opportunity to contribute, develop, and grow despite historical, structural, racial, and socio-economic inequities. 

We are an organization that celebrates the rich history of the Frederick County region. We will not tolerate discrimination, biases, harassment, or bullying of any kind, regardless of race, socio-economic status, citizenship status, age, disability, religion, sexual identity, nationality, gender, or marital status.

As an organization and Board of Directors, we agree to be guided by these principles and pledge that they will be reflected in our vision, mission, core values, strategic planning, programming, governance, and board composition. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion extends to our staff, our volunteers, our participants, and programs we develop and support. 


COIPPs Core Values

ü  We meet our children and their families where they are and support them in their journeys.


ü  We share our knowledge and skills with the community.


ü  We ensure transparency in our budget and board.


ü  We respect the privacy and confidentiality of our children and their loved ones.


ü  We practice and encourage continuous learning.

Our Team

The Best and Brightest

Sally Smith - President

Sally Smith


Shari Ostrow Scher - Founder/Executive Director

Shari Ostrow Scher

Founder/Executive Director

Pat Rosensteel - Vice President

Pat Rosensteel

Vice President

Executive Board

Chief Marketing Officer

Ally Cabrera Elspas


Theresa Posthuma

Recording Secretary

Gretta Benson

Corresponding Secretary

Shirley White

Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs


Cindi Diamondstone

Vanessa Thomas

Strategic Planning and Governance

Pat Rosensteel

Sally Smith


Shirley White

Children's Activities

Sue Guissinger

Gretta Benson

Pat Einhorn


Theresa Posthuma

Pat Rosensteel


Shirley White

Adult Activities

Cathy Anderson

Larissa Metzger