Children of prisoners - maintaining family ties

Appendix 1: Local safeguarding board questionnaire results

This appendix sets out the full responses received from boards for each question. The questionnaire was circulated in February 2007, with a closing date for returns of 31st March 2007.

Question 1: Does your local safeguarding children board have a role in identifying and supporting children and families of prisoners?

Question 1a. If yes, please describe your role.

Question 2: Does the safeguarding board record how many children in the authority have a parent or carer in prison?

Question 2a. If yes, what system is used to record data, and how many children were recorded in the last 12 months?

Question 2b. If no, do you have any other way of knowing how many children might be affected?

Question 3. Do you know how many children of prisoners are in your area at present?

Question 4. Do you have any processes in place for monitoring and assessing if maintaining familty ties is appropriate for the looked after children of prisoners?

Question 4a. If yes, how do you make sure access arrangements take place?

Question 5. Do you have a service level agreement (or equivalent) with the police service and/or probabtion service about what happens when a child has a parent arrested?

Question 5a. If yes, what is the process?

Question 5b. What works well?

Question 5c. If no, what obstacles prevent an agreement being put in place?

Question 6. Have your social work staff/care managers had training in liaising with prisons to secure appropriate visits for children to see a parent or carer?

Question 6a. If yes, what sort of training and from whom?

Question 7. Have your social work staff/care managers had experience of liaising with prisons to secure appropriate visits for children to see a parent or carer?

Question 7a. If yes, what sort of experience?

Question 8. Are you able to support/advise foster carers to enable them to help the children in their care maintain (if appropriate) family ties with a parent in prison?

Question 8a. If yes, what resources are used?

Question 9. Do social workers/care managers have involvement with the family in the planning for release?

Question 9a. If yes, can you give us an example?

Question 10. Do you offer support to the familiy once the parent of carer has been released?

Question 10a. If yes, what sort of support is offered?

  1. Again, responses indicated that this would only happen if the child was looked after by the local authority, and if the care plan identified this as a need for intervention. Otherwise the child would receive the universal service provided, such as early years. Sure Start children’s centres, health, school and the voluntary sector.
  2. The common assessment framework (CAF) could be used as a tool to refer a child in need assessment of a higher level of intervention if required.
  3. Any support would be based upon the willingness of the parent/carer and an assessment of the circumstances of the family in relation to our threshold criteria.
  4. Practical support can be offered, such as advice on accommodation, arranging contact, ongoing therapy and assessment.

Question 11. Do you think there are gaps in provision for children and families of prisoners?

Question 11a. If yes, what do you think the issues are?

Question 11b. Where do the greatest problems lie?

Question 12. What sort of product or tool might be helpful for you and your staff in your work with children of prisoners?

Question 13. Do you know of any good practice models elsewhere?

Question 14: Would you be willing to get involved in this project to inform its development and comment on progress?

Question 15. Do you have other comments?

Question 16. Would you like to receive a copy of the project report when completed?