Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK: I-HOP ‘Supporting children and families affected by a family member’s offending – A Practitioner’s Guide’

28th February 2017

Although the number of children estimated to be affected by a parent’s imprisonment in England and Wales is two and a half times higher than the number of children in care, they are often described as a “hidden” or “invisible” group. This is because they are not systematically recorded in England and there is no statutory response to their needs.

Some of the effects of parental imprisonment on children can be: negative school experiences such as truancy and bullying; involvement in anti-social behaviour; increased risk of poverty; physical ill health and disruption to housing.

This guide for practitioners aims to develop:

  • Insight into the particular importance of children’s rights, multi-agency working and safeguarding whilst delivering interventions with offenders’ families;
  • A renewed understanding of the impact of offending on children and families;
  • The ability to incorporate the needs of offenders’ children and families into professional assessment and support plans;
  • Increased confidence, knowledge and skills to work directly with offenders’ children and families, and
  • Increased knowledge of resources and services available to support offenders’ children and families.

This guide is intended to be used by practitioners with direct contact with children and families, including - social workers; early years’ practitioners; family support workers; health visitors; school nurses; pastoral workers; resettlement workers, and prison-based family engagement workers.

To read the guide, click here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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