Children of prisoners - maintaining family ties
Findings - policies and procedures
- It is the common assessment framework (CAF) that determines if the child meets eligibility criteria and therefore if they qualify for a service. The majority of children with parents in prison are not known and so do not get a service, although research has shown the potential long-term impact of parental imprisonment.
- Any professional with concerns can initiate the CAF process.
- It is not always appropriate for children to have contact, and it is not helpful to label children or assume they require professional support.
- Sure Start children’s centres are the only service with specific responsibilities. Consequently, there is very little in the way of formal policies and procedures across service boundaries. This leads to myths and assumptions about roles and responsibilities, and is a barrier to communication and information-sharing.
- All communities are scheduled to have a children’s centre by 2010.
- Procedures on initial risk assessment and information-sharing by the police and probation would be helpful. There is confusion at present regarding data protection and information-sharing across some sectors.