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National Family Support services

Children of Prisoners – Maintaining Family Ties

This guide, produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) , provides information about resources and research for anyone who works indirectly or directly with families with a parent in prison. 

Information Hub on Offenders’ families with children for Professionals (i-HOP) is a searchable directory of information, run by Barnardo’s in partnership with POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group). It provides information about resources, research, policy, support service details, practice examples and training programmes to support professionals working with children and families of offenders, including frontline staff, strategic managers and commissioners. 

This booklet, produced by the Ormiston Children & Families Trust, provides advice on how to inform children when a parent goes to prison. What shall I tell the children?


Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group (POPS) Helpline:

Offenders’ Family Helpline: 0808 808 2003 (Line open: weekdays9am – 8pm& weekends10am – 3pm)

The Prison Service Website contains information on keeping in contact with someone in prison; visiting someone in prison and getting help with travel costs to prison.

Action for Prisoners’ Families publish a range of books, booklets and DVDs covering key issues faced by prisoners’ families. Resources are available for families themselves and for practitioners.

Prisoners Advice and Care Trust (PACT) provides information and advice to families affected by imprisonment, including on visiting family in prison, kinship care, research and links to organisations and resources.

Help is provided by the Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU)

Training and awareness-raising among practitioners can help better meet the needs of prisoners’ families. Action for Prisoners’ Families offer “The Hidden Sentence” training and ‘Train the Trainer’ courses, which are suitable for professionals working with families of offenders including play workers, health visitors, and family support workers. The course gives an overview of the issues that affect prisoners’ families and strategies and resources to help professionals to support them.

ID: 1876, revised 21/08/2017