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Government must tackle support deficit for children of prisoners, says charity

Barnado's urges national action plan to identify and help young people with parents in prison.

The government must take action to identify the number of children with parents in prison and ensure that appropriate specialist support is put in place for those that need it, a leading children’s charity has said.

Barnardo’s said that children of prisoners – who it’s estimated number 200,000 in England and Wales – can face isolation, stigma, poverty and family breakdown, and are twice as likely to experience mental health problems and three times as likely to offend than other children. But at present, no official record of them exists, because neither the courts, government, nor local services ask routinely about them.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said, “Children with a parent in prison have done nothing wrong, yet they can be left feeling like they’re serving a sentence themselves – they are the innocent victims.”

For the full story and related articles, please see the Community Care website. 

[Text copyright 2014 Community Care]