The experiences of families of prisoners are an under-resourced and under-researched area. The stigma and shame these families experience perpetuate a cycle of secrecy and invisibility. This seminar shares findings from two important areas of work; an Open University Children's Research Centre research project exploring the impact of targeted Families First support to work with families and a new Operation Paramount initiative exploring the innovative use of statutory data to recognise children affected by parental imprisonment and offer families support at the time that they need it most.
Lia Palios-Hayden a Families First lead practitioner will introduce the aims of the programme of targeted support.
Dr Victoria Cooper, Professor Jane Payler, and Dr Stephanie Bennett will share their Open University research findings evaluating the Families First project. Our research considers how many children & young people experience parental imprisonment nationally and in Worcestershire; what support services are currently available and what the consequences of unmet needs might be. Furthermore, we examine children, young people and family experiences of targeted Families First support and the impact of this support.
Sergeant Russ Massie will discuss the inception, development and subsequent rollout of Operation Paramount. This work has been led by Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit in partnership with Thames Valley Police and His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. It uses statutory data to recognise families affected and offer them the support of Children Heard and Seen within weeks of imprisonment, mitigating the associated harms of the trauma caused to children following the imprisonment of a parent or primary carer. Russ will explain how Thames Valley VRU has supported other areas to pick up this vital work and how it can be further replicated.