Resources for Working with Families
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:
In My Family [PDF],
A comic book format resource specifically for children and their caregivers to support the conversation about the emotional impact of incarceration on the child.
Little Children, Big Challenges [PDF],
A brochure for caregivers.
Sesame Street Videos [Video],
A set of video segments with Sesame Street characters discussing what it feels like to have a parent who is incarcerated.
Books for Children of Incarcerated Parents,
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.
How to Explain Jails and Prisons to Children: A Caregiver's Guide [PDF],
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.
Visiting Mom or Dad: The Child's Perspective [PDF],
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.
Visiting Tips for Families: Supporting Children Visiting Their Parents [PDF],
This guide provides practical advice on what to tell children, how to prepare them, and thinking about what happens after the visit.
Tip Sheet for Incarcerated Parents: Planning for a Visit from Your Child/Children [PDF],
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.
Family Law Handbook [PDF]
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.
Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents [PDF],
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.
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.
Fathers for Life,
This includes training materials and tools for working with families who have a father that is incarcerated or on probation or parole.
Tip Sheet for Youth: Youth Supporting Fellow Youth Who Have an Incarcerated Parent,
This tip sheet was written by youth who have an incarcerated parent for youth who have an incarcerated parent. It shares information that young people wish they had told them when their parent was first involved in the criminal justice system.
Tip Sheet for Providers: Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent,
This tip sheet is meant for community-based organizations that reach children and youth who may have incarcerated parents. It gives practical information about how these youth want to be supported.
In their Words: 4 Young People Share Experiences with Having an Incarcerated Parent,
This video shares the stories of four young women who are dealing with having a parent behind bars.