Helping Children of Incarcerated Parents
It has been said that we don’t incarcerate a person, we incarcerate a family. This is not far from the truth when young children are involved. They often don’t understand what’s going on and become confused, withdrawn or rebellious. How can someone they love be in jail when they’ve been taught jail is for “bad” people? We have a growing resource list for helping children of incarcerated parents.
Families of the incarcerated are stigmatized and often outcast. This is particularly true for children taunted by classmates or embarrassed by insensitive caregivers. The documentary “Echoes of Incarceration” brings this point home through the voices of impacted children. Nothing is more poignant then hearing children tell their own story.
Produced by youth with incarcerated parents, “Echoes of Incarceration” explores the issue of mass incarceration and its effects on families as told by the real life experiences of the filmmakers themselves. You can learn more about the project by visiting their website.
We’ve added this two part video to our Resource section along with a second documentary on the effects of incarceration on children. In addition the three volume handbook (over 200 pages), “Stronger Together” published by the Osborne Association of New York has also been added. The handbook is loaded with facts and recommendations to caregivers, school administrators, case workers and family in how to help children get through this troubling time. The Osborne Association, in addition to being an advocacy group for children of incarcerated parents, offers a variety of different programs to strengthen the family by improving parenting and relationship skills.
The impact of incarceration on children is only now starting to be understand. Changes are slowly coming on line to aid children adjust and grow to be productive adults in society. Advocate for these children by sharing the link for “Echoes of Incarceration” with your friends. It’s hard to listen to these children tell their story without being moved with empathy.
Check it out!