Working with Incarcerated Parents and their Children

Children of incarcerated parents have unique and special needs that must be addressed by social workers. Children are traumatized by separation from their parents, confused by the parents’ actions and stigmatized by the shame of having an incarcerated parent. This workshop provides information on how to work with children of incarcerated parents, including how to conduct visits, as well as special considerations in working with both incarcerated parents and their children.

This class will be split between an in-class session and a field trip to a prison or jail.

In class session

This session will focus on both social workers’ perceptions and potential resistance to working with incarcerated parents and includes specific tools for facilitating a visit between an incarcerated parent and his/her child.

Field trip to a prison or jail

Participants must attend the first session to attend this field trip. After a morning visit to a prison/jail, participants will debrief the visit and discuss tools needed to facilitate a visit between a child and an incarcerated parent. A box lunch will be provided to those who attend.

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the current legislation and legal requirements regarding visitation between foster children and incarcerated parents
  • Describe best practices regarding visitation between foster children and incarcerated parents
  • Understand and know the Children of Incarcerated Parents Bill of Rights
  • Describe and discuss their own biases, beliefs and assumptions surrounding incarcerated parents
  • Describe the impacts of visitation, and/or lack thereof, between foster children and incarcerated parents

This workshop provides social workers, resource families and other service providers with essential skills for responding to the needs of children of parents who are in prison.

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