Helping prisoners to reintegrate into family life


27,000 children in Scotland are affected by a parent going into prison every year, around double the number of children affected by divorce, according to the latest Scottish Government statistics. Research also shows that having a parent or family member in prison can have a serious impact on a child’s wellbeing and mental health, which can often be displayed through anti-social behaviour.

A new partnership between Scotland’s largest children’s charity, Aberlour Child Care Trust, and the Scottish Prison Service & NHS Alcohol & Drugs Partnership in Dumfries and Galloway aims to help family members returning from prison to reintegrate back into family life.

The Aberlour Families2gether support service works with short-term prisoners whose sentence is less than four years, those on remand, and those on a Home Detention Curfew from 12 weeks prior to their release and during the first six months after release.

Amanda McAllister, Families2gether, Aberlour Child Care Trust, comments:

“At Aberlour, we believe that every child should have the same opportunities and experiences in life, no matter their family situation. We understand that an absent family member can severely affect children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. The key focus of Families2gether is to help bring families back together and rebuild a safe and welcoming family home.”

Transitioning from prison back into family life can have a major emotional strain on the whole family, and during this extremely vulnerable period, having a family member return from prison back into the family home can lead to a break-down of family relationships. Studies show that by ensuring ex-offenders have meaningful contact with their families prior to release, they are six times less likely to re-offend.

Bespoke sessions with Aberlour Family Support Workers offer emotional support and guidance for both ex-offenders and their families to ensure this often difficult process is safe and positive for both parties. The Family Support Worker also works closely with the relatives of those in prison to help with practical tasks in the family home, such as budgeting and meal preparations.

Read the original article at insidetime.org

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