1.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated and many of them are being cared for by relatives.  Yet our understanding of these arrangements is limited.  This report provides an overview of the issue, including what the current research tells us, what we need to know, and what we can do to develop more effective and compassionate social policies and programs for these children.

January 1, 2009

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The challenges for children and caregivers when a parent is incarcerated.

  2. 2

    The child welfare and corrections policies that inhibit attachment between children of incarcerated parents.

  3. 3

    What we need to know to develop more effective policies and programs to support children of incarcerated programs and the relatives who step in to care for them.

  4. 4

    What we can do now to continue to make advances for children of incarcerated parents living with kin.

Key Takeaway

Parental incarceration has multiple consequences for children that can be mitigated by the relative caregiving role.

Our understanding of the care arrangements for children whose parents are incarcerated and living with kin are limited. Similarly, the process of co-parenting is a complex one for relative caregivers and parents.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations