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Support for Families of Offenders

Support for Families of Offenders

In England and Wales an estimated 200,000 children are affected by parental imprisonment, with 1 in every 7 children having to deal with the experience of having a parent in prison during their school years. This, of course, means that these children who are already facing difficulties at home, are more likely to experience and face difficulties in school.

Children with a parent in prison are

  • Twice as likely to experience behaviour and mental health problems,and less likely to do well at school.
  • Three times more likely to be involved in offending - 65% of boys with a convicted father will go on to offend themselves.

We also know that children with a parent in prison feel isolated and ashamed - unable to talk about their situation because they are scared of being bullied and judged.

Prompted by a child telling us, "You just don't get it!" We realised we didn't. We weren't doing enough to try and understand. Consequently, this year we have done some work with Barnardos to improve our awareness of the challenges faced by families of offenders. Staff have undertaken 'Hidden Sentence' training and through the Invisible Walls Wales scheme, several staff have visited HM Prison Parc, Bridgend.

We are not here to judge. It is our job to support our children and families. But we can't if we don't know that you are affected by imprisonment. Your 'single point of contact' or SPOC is Mrs Bounds, ALNCo. Sometimes, children are relieved just to know that we know.

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