Special considerations abound when social workers work with incarcerated parents. Mitigating trauma, understanding legal issues and maintaining communication require practical protocols detailed in this child welfare guide.
The number of kids with a jailed parent has increased by almost 80% since 1991.
Findings & Stats
Parents as Prisoners
Most parents are not "career" criminals and continue to act as parents while behind bars.
Preventing Foster Care
Early engagement with incarcerated parents improves the prevention of foster care for the children.
Kinship Care Benefits
Besides reducing trauma to the children, kinship care represents a major cost savings to counties.
The excessive number of minority children in the child welfare system parallels the excessive number of minority adults in the criminal justice system
Statements & Quotations
I guess some caseworkers assume your mom is a bad person when they hear she's incarcerated. But they should keep an open mind and remember that every child has only one mother, one father. The one's we're given are special to us, even it we can't live with them, even if they're not perfect.
– —Youth speaker with Foster Change for Children, New York
Many of the children, particularly of incarcerated mothers, end up in foster care. They may endure shame and humiliation, face an increased risk for developing mental health problems, experience school failure or drop out, and commonly encounter stigma from peers and adults which increases the isolation they feel. It is no wonder that human rights advocates have referred to parental incarceration as one of the greatest threats to child well-being in the United States.
– From article Children with Incarcerated Parents, The Bronx Times, November 15, 2010, www.bronx.com/news/Society/1242.html
Children and families with incarcerated parents have been a relativelyinvisible population to the public, to policymakers, and to funders.Programs and policies, which have traditionally focused on theoffender, his or her victims, and the public safety of the community, ignorethe vast and growing number of other victims–children.
– —from Children and Families with Incarcerated Parents–Exploring Development in the Field and Opportunities for Growth.
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