Supporting children and young people with a loved one in custody
TRAINING FOR SCHOOLS
IN WEST YORKSHIRE
Maintaining contact with a parent or loved one in prison is known to
be generally beneficial for children and young people. However, the
experience of a loved one in custody can be traumatic leading to effects
such as increased anxiety, isolation or other mental health impacts; many
will display significant changes in behaviour such as becoming withdrawn or
expressing anger. Added to this, children and young people with a parent or
loved one in custody are significantly more likely to experience other vulnerabilities.
THE JIGSAW SCHOOLS PROJECT
Within West Yorkshire, there are an estimated 10,000 children with a parent or loved one in prison. With around 1,000 schools in the area, this means that a typical school will have around 10 students affected by the imprisonment of a family member. Working in partnership with St Giles Trust and West Yorkshire Police, we have developed a package of training and support for teachers and education professionals in West Yorkshire to help them to understand and support those children and families in their communities.
Through the generous support of the People’s Postcode Trust, during 2020 and 2021 we will be able to offer a limited number of free training places for schools in West Yorkshire. Our one-day training, delivered at HMP Wealstun near Thorp Arch, Wetherby, will give participants an understanding of and insight into the experiences of children with a family member involved in the justice system.
Alongside this free training, we are developing an early intervention programme and toolkit for schools within the West Yorkshire region to help them to better support children and families in the school setting. We will be providing ongoing, ad hoc support and sharing experiences and best practice to help establish a connected community of professionals able to provide support to one another in the longer term.
The overall outcome of this project is to increase schools’ awareness of the effects of imprisonment on children and their families, and to provide them with the tools to help these children and young people to achieve to their full potential. By attending the one day workshop and taking up the support we offer, schools will be able to demonstrate their commitment to broadening and deepening their support for some of the most vulnerable children within their setting.
If you are interested in your school staff participating in this project and attending the workshop please email: FamilySupport.Wealstun@justice.gov.uk