Supporting Children and Young People of Prisoners

Hearts Inside Training


CRC had been funded, up until the end of 2013, by Community Builders to deliver training to the Metro South West Region (MSWR). The training is designed to improve service provision to children and young people who have a family member in custody.

Each year over 120,000 children visit NSW prisons. The trauma of forced separation can cause feelings of abandonment, shame and isolation, leading to poor performance at school, truancy and low self esteem. Recent studies show that prisoners children are 3 times more prone to significant mental health problems and anti-social behaviour than their peers-and the cycle of offending is perpetuated.

With increased engagement and integrated support this cycle can be interrupted. Through increased understanding and service provision we seek to reduce the stigma, trauma, isolation and disadvantage, care, crime and custody within the MSWR communities.

This training package has been written to assist community workers to better support children of offenders by understanding the impacts on children when they have a loved one incarcerated and the ways in which we as workers can engage with them. The package aims to specifically help participants:

  • Understand how imprisonment of parents or close family members affects children
  • Help families/carers tell children that their parent or family member is in a correctional centre
  • Assist families to stay in touch with family members in a Correctional Centre by visiting and in other ways
  • Support children while their parent or family member is in a Correctional Centre
  • Assist families to prepare for the release of a parent or family member