Allison And Charlotte

Making visits memorable: celebrating our Family Support Workers

More than 100,000 children and young people in England and Wales have a parent in prison right now. While many go on to lead positive and fulfilling lives, others face an increased risk of poverty, homelessness, antisocial behaviour, and mental health problems. Too often, they become caught in a cycle of intergenerational crime - two in three boys whose fathers serve time in prison go on to offend themselves.

Our Family Support Workers (FSWs) are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people visiting their loved ones in prison. The FSW role involves ensuring the smooth running of prison Family and Visitors' Centres and supporting our play and catering services. They are often the first contact families have when visiting their loved ones and offer confidential, non-judgemental support and advice to provide reassurance at what can be an anxious and difficult time.

Allison and Christine at HMP Moorland in Doncaster are just two FSWs who regularly work with people in prison and their families to help them build and maintain positive relationships. They recently received a heartfelt note of gratitude from Penny, a partner of one of the men at Moorland, for the support she had received for the family. 

HMP Moorland

Penny writes: "I just want to express many thanks to many people at HMP Moorland. It's not an easy place to visit, certainly not with children, and not a place I ever anticipated having to visit in my entire life, let alone my children. Often, you are treated like criminals, making the entire process harder on top of an already difficult time."

"Both Allison and Christine have played a huge part in one of the most difficult times of our lives. While being limited by prison processes, they have provided something for our children to still create some happy memories. I want to express how grateful we are that people who end up in our situation have someone there to try and lighten the load and make it slightly better."

Our FSWs ensure every child feels comfortable, safe, and secure while visiting their loved one in prison. With an increasing prison population that is only predicted to rise over the coming years, we will see many more children and young people affected by the imprisonment of a family member. With your support, we can ensure no child faces the challenge alone.