Families Impacted by Incarceration: Working with Families

Resources for Working with Families

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, Sesame Street Little Children
This toolkit, developed by Sesame Street, provides kid-friendly videos and activities to help young children (3-8) express and deal with the emotions involved when a parent is incarcerated. This set of resources includes:

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In My Family [PDF], Sesame Street
A comic book format resource specifically for children and their caregivers to support the conversation about the emotional impact of incarceration on the child.

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Little Children, Big Challenges [PDF], Sesame Street
A brochure for caregivers.

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Sesame Street Videos [Video], Sesame Street
A set of video segments with Sesame Street characters discussing what it feels like to have a parent who is incarcerated.

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Books for Children of Incarcerated Parents, The Sentencing Project
This page provides a list of book recommendations for children dealing with the issue of parental incarceration. Each book recommendation provides a brief description and guidance on age appropriateness.

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How to Explain Jails and Prisons to Children: A Caregiver's Guide [PDF], California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Friends Outside
A leaflet written for parents and caregivers of children to facilitate communication about the feelings and emotions that may be experienced by kids of incarcerated parents. Information is provided in a straightforward way that is appropriate for younger audiences. This guide answers many frequently asked questions of children and their caregivers and provides contact info, such as phone numbers and Internet links, for further resources.

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Visiting Mom or Dad: The Child's Perspective [PDF], Ann Adalist-Estrin, Children of Prisoners Library, Family and Corrections Network
A useful tool for caregivers on prepping kids before a visit. It includes nine pages of advice and tips, including a development guide that allows a caregiver to plan the visit based on the child's age.

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Visiting Tips for Families: Supporting Children Visiting Their Parents [PDF], NYC Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents
This guide provides practical advice on what to tell children, how to prepare them, and thinking about what happens after the visit.

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Tip Sheet for Incarcerated Parents: Planning for a Visit from Your Child/Children [PDF], www.youth.gov
In contrast to other visit tip sheets listed, this provides guidance specifically to the incarcerated parent on how to plan for and support their child during a visit.

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Family Law Handbook [PDF] (Women, Incarceration and Family Law Project)
Coming from Yale Law School, this handbook spans over 90 pages of information on parenting rights when incarcerated. There are four sections: 1. the incarcerated parent's rights regarding his or her child or children; 2. child support; 3. marriage and divorce while incarcerated; and 4. passing down property by inmates, including preparing wills. This document is focused upon Connecticut law but, it can be useful resource for anyone interested in the legal issues for incarcerated parents.

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Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents [PDF], San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership
This document is widely used and referenced among those working with families impacted by incarceration. It describes a set of rights regarding children of incarcerated parents as well as an agenda for action for these minors. There is a description of the realities of how incarceration of parents affects children, as well as individual information about each right, how it applies and individual stories of children affected by their parent's imprisonment.

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Parenting Inside Out, Parenting Inside Out®
The Parenting Inside Out® program is an evidence-based parenting skills training program developed for criminal justice involved parents. The prison parenting program is appropriate for both incarcerated mothers and incarcerated fathers who are parenting from prison. The community version is appropriate for parents on parole or probation.

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Fathers for Life, Office of Head Start, Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
This includes training materials and tools for working with families who have a father that is incarcerated or on probation or parole.