Support for children in accessing prisons and participating in prison visits, for example, is extremely variable and mainly provided through non-governmental organisations. Support for imprisoned parents, whose moral authority is diminished through their incarceration, is equally inconsistent.
The COPING research strategy places the clearest emphasis on knowledge obtained directly from children and young people. The project will commission surveys of 200 children in each country with an imprisoned parent, using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, to ascertain coping strategies and mental health problems for these young people, which will be compared with normative population samples. Smaller groups of children and parents will be involved in in-depth qualitative interviews to explore the impact of parental imprisonment and support services available in greater detail. Interventions to support these families will be comprehensively mapped.
Children will play a prominent role in disseminating research results to policy makers, professional bodies and key organisations.
This project is supported by three patrons: Professor Sir Patrick Stewart, Baroness Hale and Lemn Sissay and more about them can be found on the patrons page.