Visiting Mum aims to support Welsh mothers to maintain positive relationships with their children throughout their prison sentence*. The project is jointly funded by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the Welsh Government and operates in HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire and HMP Styal in Cheshire.

Visiting Mum is based on a successful three-year pilot, funded by Big Lottery Wales, which Pact created and ran in partnership with HMP Eastwood Park prison between 2014 and 2017. The evaluation by Cardiff University and CASCADE showed that this work reduces the risk of self-harm and promotes positive health and wellbeing among mothers while also improving long term outcomes for their children.

Prison sentences can create significant disruptions to family life which can have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on not just the women themselves but also on their children.

- Chris Jennings, Executive Director of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service in Wales

Supporting Mothers in Prison

Visiting Mum identifies women who are risk of losing contact with their children and offers specialist support to preserve and strengthen these vital family ties. Mothers are invited to engage in parenting and relationships programmes and to receive one-to-one support from our team, which may include assistance engaging with social workers and other services.

Supporting Children & Families in the Community

In partnership with Change Grow Live, specially trained volunteers provide emotional support to the women’s children and families in the community and prepare them to visit their loved ones in prison. They are also able to offer practical support including providing transport and accompanying children and their families to prison visits, which can be a daunting experience. This service is invaluable for the many Welsh mothers who are imprisoned in England and who struggle to maintain their right to contact because of practical considerations such as the cost of travel or lack of suitable adult supervision.

Guide for Professionals

Following the initial pilot of Visiting Mum at HMP Eastwood Park, we procuded several guides for those working with children and families. These include a guide for social workers, a leaflet for children, and a photo guide for children visiting prison. 

Visiting Mum: A Guide for Professionals

Visiting Mum: 2017 Evaulation

*There are no prisons for women in Wales and consequently Welsh women are held in custody in prisons in England – at great distance from their children and those caring for them.