Supporting Relationships Between Children and Their Incarcerated Parents
Families Impacted by Incarceration Tip Sheet
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center. Rutgers University--Camden. National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated.
Federal Publication/Policy Information Packet or Sheet
Published: August 23, 2019
Sponsoring Organization: United States. Children's Bureau.
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This federally funded brief is designed to assist caseworkers and caregivers in supporting children who have incarcerated parents. The focus is on maintaining the parent-child bond in the face of a parent’s absence due to incarceration. The brief begins by explaining maintaining contact between a child and an incarcerated parent is a crucial part of preparing for the parent’s release and that in-prison parenting programs and other interventions that include family visits are shown to correlate with lower rates of recidivism, increased self-esteem, and more parental involvement with their children following release. The intersection of incarceration and child welfare is then explained, as well as the importance of supporting parent-child contact and key issues related to communication and visiting at different stages of child development. A chart is provided that describes developmental considerations for visiting an incarcerated parent, strategies that can be used to maintain the connection, ways to prepare children, and strategies to use during visits to assist parents in connecting with their child. The chart provides strategies for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school age and preadolescents, and adolescents. Links are provided for additional resources.
incarcerated parents; parental absence; parent child relationships; developmental stages; preserving connections; child development; children; adolescents; infants; preschool children; VISITATION