Birmingham City Council is set to launch a new Champion Scheme this week to support professionals in meeting the needs of children of prisoners.
The Champion Launch Event on Wednesday 3 September at the Council House in Victoria Square will examine how children and young people are affected by the imprisonment of close family members and how professionals can meet the needs of this hidden and marginalised group.
Nationally there are approximately 200,000 children affected by imprisonment of family members, and as a group their outcomes are worse than those of the 66,000 children in care. Over the next 12 months the Champion model will see four classes delivered by psychologists, and other professionals who specialise in this area, on different aspects of children's needs and the skills and tools professionals can use to intervene effectively as and where is appropriate.
The classes will look at the journey an offender takes and the impact that elements of this journey might have on their children's social and emotional wellbeing, their behaviour and access to the school curriculum. They will also examine how to support children of prisoners at an individual, class and whole school/setting level.
Birmingham City Council cabinet member for Children and Family Services, Cllr Brigid Jones, said: “Children are not guilty of their parents’ crimes, but the simple fact is that when parents are punished with imprisonment their children suffer greatly.
“7% of children will see a parent put in prison during their school years and children of prisoners are three times more likely to be involved in delinquent activity. To ignore this is shameful and I am proud that this new model of training, which makes some a serious attempt to understand and support children of prisoners, has been developed through partnership working between Birmingham Educational Psychology Service and leading charity Barnardo's.”
For further media information contact Debbie Harrison on 303 4476