Children of Incarcerated Parents

jackiesydney2Much of my recent work is focused upon helping caregivers of children who have a parent in prison.  I offer a workshop (at lowest possible rates) whose main goal is to help adults talk supportively with children in this predicament … whose lives have been uprooted, disconnected, confused and injured in most cases.

In this photo you see me and Jackie Breger publicizing the Bill of Rights at the California Association for the Education of Young Children conference in San Diego, February 2004.

You can obtain free copies of the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents (see below) by sending an e-mail to sfcipp.info@gmail.com.

I have compiled a bibliography of books about this subject, for children and for caregivers.

NAEYC members can join an Interest Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents (CHIPS) by sending an e-mail to: froznowski-at-cpsd.us indicating your interest.  Name, address, telephone, e-mail address, and anything else that you think will be useful should be included.

Whatever you do, please try to raise community consciousness about these children, now five percent of American children, and rising.

I’m writing papers on issues about children who have parents in prison. They will appear here as I write them, and you’re encouraged to use them to get people talking about their ideas and feelings about what the children need and what the community should move to provide for them.

Thank you.
Sydney

Discussion Paper 1: (409kb PDF)
3-7 YEAR OLD CHILDREN WITH A PARENT IN PRISON: WHAT DO TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW?

Discussion Paper 2: (220kb PDF)
WHAT ARE THE NEEDS IN GENERAL OF YOUNG CHILDREN WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED TRAUMATIC EVENTS?

Discussion Paper 3:  (54kb PDF)
SUPPORTING GRANDPARENTS OR OTHER RELATIVES OR FOSTER PARENTS WHO ARE CARING FOR A CHILD WITH A PARENT IN PRISON

Discussion Paper 4:   (242kb PDF)
UNCOVERING THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM: Confidentiality and Children  with Parents in Prison

SF Board of Supervisors has endorsed the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Nov. 15, 2005):   (PDF)
www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions05/r0545-05.pdf or go here: SF BOS resolution

bubblesmainArticle published in the San Francisco Chronicle:
SFPD’s new plan considers kids if parent arrested

Children’s Voice Article, Sept./Oct., 2004
“A Bill of Rights for Children of Prisoners” By Nell Bernstein
www.cwla.org/articles/cv0409cop.htm

Here’s a letter I wrote to someone who wanted to know what he can do in prison
to become a better father: LETTER_TO_AN_INQUIRING_PRISONER.doc

Psychologists for Social Responsibility website:
Children at Risk

Two University of Illinois documents released Feb. 12, 2008:

Breaking the Bonds: (PDF) Understanding the needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents

Understanding the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents — Mentors Perspective (PDF)

Non-UI documents:

(1) A report (PDF) for Maryland Corrections reviewing effective programs

(2) Charts (PDF)by Amy Dworsky (Chapin Hall at UChicago) that show some figures for children in foster care who’s mothers are in Illinois Prison or Cook County Jail (Illinois has probably the best, longest-running child welfare database in the U.S.)

(3) A document (PDF)for Sandra Barnhill’s program that helps children and families maintain contact with parents in prison and efforts to expand it in other communities around the country (with Annie E. Casey funds).

Comment on the NY Times “City Room” blog regarding a series of articles examining the foster care system in New York. Comment number six.

 

Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Bill of Rights

 

CIP_bk_cover1.I have the right TO BE KEPT SAFE AND INFORMED AT THE TIME OF MY PARENT’S ARREST

2. I have the right TO BE HEARD WHEN DECISIONS ARE MADE ABOUT ME

3. I have the right TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DECISIONS ARE MADE ABOUT MY PARENT

4. I have the right TO BE WELL CARED FOR IN MY PARENT’S ABSENCE

5. I have the right TO SPEAK WITH, SEE AND TOUCH MY PARENT

6. I have the right TO SUPPORT AS I STRUGGLE WITH MY PARENT’S INCARCERATION

7. I have the right NOT TO BE JUDGED, BLAMED OR LABELED BECAUSE OF MY PARENT’S INCARCERATION

8. I have the right TO A LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PARENT