213072 Responding to the Needs of Children and Families of Prisoners: Implications for Public Health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:15 AM

Ann Adalist-Estrin, MS , Director, National Resource Center on Children of the Incarcerated/, Family and Corrections Network, Jenkintow, PA
The last 3 years have brought a dramatic shift in the field for those working with children and families of the incarcerated. A population that was, not so long ago, hidden or invisible is now the center of much discussion and concern. The impact of parental incarceration on children has been addressed on the U.S. Senate floor, in airline magazines, at hosts of professional conferences and on children's television programs. The bulging prison walls have created collateral consequences previously unrecognized on a significant scale. These consequences are beginning to influence policies in law enforcement protocols, child support enforcement and correctional visitation. Advocacy initiatives have begun in communities, states and nationally, to encourage those in the systems serving children and families of the incarcerated to evaluate programs and practices to better serve the population.

Honoring the significance of the incarcerated parent to the child, poses challenges to the development of both policy and practice as concern for and services to the children of the incarcerated continue to proliferate. The focus of funding and program development is on programs and initiatives that assist children in managing in the absence of the parent child relationship. Little attention has been paid to the issue of trauma and attachment disruption to inform the development of programs and practices that maintain, mend or make relationships between children and their incarcerated parents. This workshop will focus on the impact of parental incarceration on the parent –child relationship in the context of goals for programs, practice and policy.

Learning Objectives:
Illustrate the needs of the estimated 2.5 million children of incarcerated parents in the US. Propose policy initiatives and promising practices in community programs and public systems.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ann Adalist-Estrin, a child and family therapist, and Director of the NRCCI/FCN also author of two books on children of prisoners. Adalist-Estrin, has been training mentors around the country for 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.