When Children Witness the Arrest of a Parent

Strategies for Youth with support from the Sills Family Foundation has developed materials for law enforcement officers to use when arresting a parent in presence of children.  In the Presence of Children is a campaign to try to address the fright and trauma that children may experience when watching a parent being arrested.

The free materials for law enforcement (order here) include:

  • A protocol “check off” list based on protocols from police departments and the International Association of Chiefs of Police,
  • A guide of possible behaviors and reactions from children of various ages,
  • A card that officers can leave behind with parents or caregivers about what behaviors the children may exhibit after witnessing the event and local resources to assist the children, and
  • A teddy bear for the child to hold and help calm him or her.
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