Having a parent in prison can have an impact on a child’s mental health, social behavior, and educational prospects.1 The emotional trauma that may occur and the practical difficulties of a disrupted family life can be compounded by the social stigma that children may face as a result of having a parent in prison or jail.2 Children who have an incarcerated parent may experience financial hardship that result from the loss of that parent’s income.3 Further, some incarcerated parents face termination of parental rights because their children have been in the foster care system beyond the time allowed by law.4 These children require support from local, state, and federal systems to serve their needs.
Children of incarcerated parents may also face a number of other challenging circumstances. They may have experienced trauma related to their parent’s arrest or experiences leading up to it.5 Children of incarcerated parents may also be more likely to have faced other adverse childhood experiences, including witnessing violence in their communities or directly in their household or exposure to drug and alcohol abuse.6 For more information and resources on these overlapping problems, please see the additional Children of Incarcerated Parents links and resources.
Incarcerated Parents Reconnect with their Children
On November 30, 2013 the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) held its first ever Universal Children's Day, a visiting event for incarcerated parents and their families.
Children of Incarcerated Parents – Champions of Change
On June 12, the White House hosted a “Champions of Change” event honoring 12 individuals who have dedicated themselves to supporting children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers, and otherwise working to help families impacted by incarceration.
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FindYouthInfo.gov is the U.S. government Web site that helps you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included are youth facts, funding information, and tools to help you assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, search for evidence-based youth programs, and keep up-to-date on the latest, youth-related news.