Parental Incarceration on Children Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1465 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
There have been few child welfare policies and procedures developed, even though case workers are seeing increasing numbers of children with parents in prison (Seymour 1998).

One 1994 study revealed that out of 500 child welfare, law enforcement, and correctional officials in 100 counties across the U.S., 80% acknowledged that there were no specific policies in place for responding to these children; and more than half of the foster care administrators reporting increases in children with incarcerated parents, 97% reported that their agencies had no specific policies in place to guide their work with these children (Seymour 1998). A 1997 survey of state child welfare agencies by the Child Welfare League of America revealed that "while certain state and local agencies have begun to focus on children with incarcerated parents, few child welfare agencies have enacted policies or developed programs that specifically address their needs" (Seymour 1998). In fact only six of the 38 responding states reported having policies that focus specifically on children with incarcerated parents (Seymour 1998).

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Most states indicate that they facilitate visits between incarcerated parents and their children and several assist parents with prerelease planning and provide support groups for children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers (Seymour 1998). Few states offer counseling services for children and fewer still work with prison social workers to provide coordinated services for children and parents (Seymour). Some states collaborate with other organizations to provide services to children with incarcerated parents, yet very few provide their staff with specific training regarding the needs of children with incarcerated parents and only one of these has developed a formal training curriculum (Seymour 1998).

Term Paper on Parental Incarceration on Children in Assignment

Agencies and communities are beginning to work together on the issue of children of incarcerated parents. The child welfare and criminal justice systems have a shared interest in maximizing opportunities for families involved with both systems, as do the child welfare and prisoner advocacy communities have a shared interest in supporting children and families affected by incarceration (Seymour 1998). Advocates for prisoners and their families have worked hard to raise awareness concerning the issue of parental incarceration and to advocate for services directed toward children and families of prisoners (Seymour 1998). This work has focused intently on the trauma of parent-child separation, the need for parent-child contact, and the threat of termination of parental rights (Seymour 1998).

The Reentry National Media Outreach Campaign supports the work of community and faith-based organizations through offering media resources that will facilitate community discussion and decision making about solution-based reentry programs (Reentry pp). More people are leaving prisons to return to their families and communities than at any other time in our history and the potential for ripple effects on prisoners, their families and communities have sparked an unprecedented growing level of activity among national, state and local policymakers, researchers, and practitioners (Reentry pp). Some of the most important and innovative work in the reentry field is occurring at the community levels (Reentry pp).

In 2001, the Oregon State Legislature approved Bill 133 sponsoring the Children of Incarcerated Parents Project (Children pp). This project was developed to foster community partnerships and programs to help and improve the health and well-being of children of incarcerated parents (Children pp). The approved bill put the work group into law, charging it to develop recommendations for improving parent-child relationships while parents are involved in the criminal justice system (Children pp). The goal is to create effective programs and policies that will reduce the trauma experienced by children and increase the health of the parent-child relationship while the parent is incarcerated (Children pp).

Social workers play an important part in this system. The editor of 'Social Work Research' once wrote "Practice is the raison d'etre of social work. The purpose of social work is intervention" and should not stop after the phenomenon (Proctor 2001).

Because it is the country's most basic support for vulnerable children, it is important that the child welfare system to begin to address the needs of children with incarcerated parents in a thoughtful, systematic way (Seymour 1998).

Works Cited

Seymour, Cynthia. "Children with Parents in Prison: Child Welfare Policy,

Program and Practice Issues." Child Welfare Journal of Policy, Practice and Program, Special Issue: Children with Parents in Prison. September/October 1998.

Children of Incarceration Parents Project: Report to the Oregon Legislature.

December 2002. http://www.doc.state.or.us/transition_project/welcome.shtml.

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/parental-incarceration-children/3400022.