top of page

Incarceration Related Resources

Social Workers


When a Parent is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011.


Working With Children With Parents in Prison

Children's Services Practice Notes for North Carolina's Child Welfare Social Workers, Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, Jordan Institute for Families and the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, January 2002.


Working with Children and Families with Parents Involved in the Criminal Justice System: A Toolkit for Social Service and Child Welfare Providers

Children's Justice Alliance, 2010.


A Toolkit for Working With Children of Incarcerated Parents

This web-based training toolkit provides practitioners with the skills required to respond to the needs of children of parents who are in prison or have an incarceration history.


Information includes:

  • Helpful Hints for Practitioners

  • The Children and Families of Incarcerated Parents Initiative in Washington State: Central Points

  • Free Online Training Video for Social Service Practitioners: Summary

  • Handouts for Practitioners, Families, and Caregivers

  • Reading Lists and Videos for Children, Caregivers, and Providers

  • Research and Information for Providers

  • Children of Incarcerated Parents: Bill of Rights

  • Beyond the Walls: A Guide to Services for Families Affected by Incarceration

  • Visitation Procedures and Inmate Locators for Prisons and Jails




Every Door Closed: Barriers Facing Parents With Criminal Records

Amy E. Hirsch, et al., Center for Law and Social Policy, Communinty Legal Services, 2002.


Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers

Justice Center, The Council of State Governments, 2009.


Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children

Glaze, L. and Maruschak, L. (August 2008, revised March 2010


Children of Incarcerated Parents Myth Busters

The Reentry Myth Buster/Children of Incarcerated Parents Series is a series of fact sheets intended to clarify federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. On any given day, nearly two million children under 18 have a parent in prison, and many more have had an incarcerated parent at some point during their childhood. Children of incarcerated parents often face financial instability, changes in family structure, and social stigma from their community. This series is designed to help these children, their caregivers, and the service providers who work with them.


Sesame Street-- Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration

The incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers. It can bring about big changes and transitions. In simple everyday ways, you can comfort your child and guide her through these tough moments. With your love and support she can get through anything that comes her way. Here are some tools to help you with the changes your child is going through.


Vera Institute of Justice

The Vera Institute of Justice combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.


Vera is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice, with offices in New York City, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Our projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world.


LSPC: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children


The Osborne Association: Women's Services

Offers targeted services to women affected by the incarceration of their intimate partners or their children, and women who are caring for  children with an incarcerated parent. Women are able to find peer support, receive therapeutic counselling, and reduce their stress and isolation.


Children of  Prisoners Library

More than one in forty children in the United States has a parent in prison. The loss of a parent to incarceration means a crisis for that child. Concerned people in all settings are dealing with children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers daily, but in most cases without benefit of training or specific information.


To help meet this need, Family and Corrections Network created a resource—the Children of Prisoners Library (CPL), an Internet based resource. The CPL provides free information sheets designed for people serving children of prisoners and their caregivers.


Library materials can be accessed through links below. The Facts and Issues section has pamphlets for all readers. Currently there are specialized pamphlets for Caregivers of children of prisoners.


Children of Incarceration: Collateral Victims of Crime, A Resource Guide

Research by the University of Florida, College of Law, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR) determined that there are three elements that are essential for effective programs working with incarcerated parents and their children:


Research by the University of Florida, College of Law, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR) determined that there are three elements that are essential for effective programs working with incarcerated parents and their children:


·       Address the needs of building a healthy parent-child relationship,

·       Seek to educate incarcerated parents about their rights and responsibilities, and

·       Assist parents with their re-entry by identifying community supports and resources.


A report based on the CSRRR research, Children of Incarceration: Collateral Victims of Crime, A Resource Guide, identified seven programs in Florida that use these essential elements for effective interventions and outcomes.


Services to Children & Families of Prisoners

Family-centered services for incarcerated parents, their children, and families focus on parenting programs, family strengthening activities, nurturing of family relationships, community supports for families during incarceration and following release, and gender-specific interventions. Resources include State and local examples.


National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Hunter College School of Social Work is a training,   technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of State, local, Tribal and other   publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies to: institutionalize a safety-focused, family-centered, and community-based approach to meet the needs of children, youth and families.


Recent Materials on Working with Incarcerated Parents

This bibliography, compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, lists resources related to working with incarcerated parents.(2010-July 2011)

bottom of page