Category Archives: Children of prisoners
Children who are left behind when a parent is sent to prison are to be supported by a new campaign.
The Left Behind project highlights the needs of 160,000 children whose parents are imprisoned every year, and has received support from Lord Justice Goldring, the senior presiding judge for England and Wales.
It provides guidance helping magistrates to check whether a child or vulnerable adult’s welfare needs will be affected if a person is sent to prison.
Lord Justice Goldring said: “Sometimes defendants are sent to prison without having made proper arrangements for people in their care. The new guidance asks magistrates to check that there are no immediate welfare needs concerning children or dependants after issuing a custodial sentence.
“It is also advised that relevant information be shared with the appropriate agencies where a child might be at risk.”
Left Behind has been created by child welfare charity the NSPCC, the Prison Advice And Care Trust (Pact) which raises awareness of the needs of prisoners’ children, and Action For Prisoner’s Families (APF) promoting fair treatment of families.
Andy Keen-Downs, chief executive of Pact, said: “Prisoners’ children and dependants are the hidden victims of crime, and are all too easily missed when their parent or carer is put in prison.
“We hope this campaign will improve links between the criminal courts, social services and charities so that we can work together to keep children and family members safe.”
Posters providing information and a helpline number for anyone who may be left caring for a dependant will be put up in courts in England and Wales as part of the campaign.