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Young Basketball Player

Youth and Incarcerated Parent(s) Program

Supporting and Encouraging 

Having a parent(s) in prison can have an impact on a child’s mental health, social behavior, and educational prospects.  The emotional trauma that may occur and the practical difficulties of a disrupted family life can be compounded by the social stigma that children may face as a result of having a parent in prison or jail.Children who have an incarcerated parent may experience financial hardship that results from the loss of that parent’s income. Further, some incarcerated parents face termination of parental rights because their children have been in the foster care system beyond the time allowed by law or have questions about child support. These children require support from local, state, and federal systems to serve their needs.

5 Learning Objectives



Increase school personnel's awareness and understanding of the experiences and issues faced by students with incarcerated parents.



Identify classroom and school-wide practices and strategies that educators and experts can use to address the needs of students with incarcerated parents (e.g., trust, abandonment, guilt, stigma, secrecy, relational struggles, understanding the justice system, as well as strengths such as resiliency and ability to forgive).



Highlight the role of trauma and trauma-formed practices and strategies for addressing the needs of students with incarcerated parents.



Identify ideas for potential policy change that may impact the experience of school as a safe and inclusive environment for students with incarcerated parents



Identify ways to promote positive educational outcomes for students with incarcerated parents.

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