Pact’s play services provide a welcoming and therapeutically-informed space for children which allows them to play safely and maintain attachment with their imprisoned parent or relative during visits.

The outcomes we expect to see from this service are:

  • Safe, happy children and a positive visit for prisoners and adult carers.
  • Improved relationships between the imprisoned parent and their child.
  • Increased confidence in parenting skills and knowledge of the role that play has in children’s early development.

Pact’s play services provide vetted, trained Play Workers who are based in the prison visits hall and/or visitors’ centres. We can advise on play area design and equipment and are also able to provide ‘critical friend’ reviews of the prison visits process from a child’s view point to help ensure this is as welcoming and child friendly as possible given the constraints of the regime.

We can provide highly qualified staff who can organise and manage child-centred visits. These can include family days, homework clubs, and toddler and baby groups in which the child is able to leave the visits table and engage in a range of activities provided by the Pact Play Worker. We are also able to provide ‘at table’ boxes and activities to help parents to play with and interact with their child(ren). We can also advise and lead on activities for older children visiting prison.

Subject to prison vetting, we can manage volunteers and placements for Early Years students to enhance provision where budgets are restricted.

Pact Play Workers are trained and vigilant in child protection and safeguarding practice, and work within a tried and tested safeguarding framework used in prison visitors centres and visits halls for over ten years.