Children of Incarcerated Parents

Over the last several months, national attention has been focused on the impact of incarcerated parents on children, and the need for a paradigm shift that incarcerated parents should be included in the children’s lives, if possible.  At the national level, an interagency group, that includes the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Agriculture, as well as the Social Security Administration, has partnered with stakeholders to address these challenges.   Negative consequences for children can include financial instability, changes in family structure, shame, and social stigma, but some of these may be mitigated by healthy and positive relationships between the child and the incarcerated parent.  The fact sheet is available here.

A webportal has been established by the federal government to consolidate resources and research.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges passed a resolution in support of the White House Initiative Supporting Children of Incarcerated Children.

Sesame Workshop has launched an initiative “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration,” which provides a guide, a children’s storybook, videos, a tip sheet, and a mobile app, available here.

For children in foster care, see Children in Foster Care with Parents in Federal Prison: a Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies, Federal Prisons, and Residential Reentry Centers.

Reentry Myth Buster! is a series of publications on the impact of incarceration on children, including child welfare, Medicaid, parental arrests, Social Security, TANF eligibility, and SNAP eligibility.

The National Reentry Resource Center has a number of publications available.  Click on the Issue Areas page, and then click on Families.

The National Conference of State Legislatures published Children of Incarcerated Parents, a report of questions and discussion about the growing issue.

In Indiana, Volunteers of America-Indiana offers a Healing Families Program to facilitate successful reunification of families.

The Indiana Department of Correction website does not list any Re-entry Resources under the subcategory Family Relationships, but there is a Responsible Fatherhood Program.

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One Response to Children of Incarcerated Parents

  1. Pingback: TAKING Parental Responsibility for Children in the ‘care’ of local councils | Voluntary Public Interest Advocacy

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