Supporting Offenders and their Families
The Thames Valley Partnership has had a long-standing interest in supporting practitioners who work with the children and families of offenders and prisoners. By encouraging multi-agency working and bringing Criminal Justice agencies ‘into the loop’ with family support services through training, networking and providing resources the Family Matters programmed developed a model which enables this vulnerable group of families to be supported in a more integrated manner.
In 2011, new three year funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation enabled the Partnership to expand this crucial work under a new programme – Family Approaches. Subsequently, in 2014 we received continuation funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in addition to funding from the Kelly Family Trust and the Laing Charitable Trust to further embed this work into mainstream practices.
The aims of the work remain the same however: to support the resettlement of offenders and break the cycle of offending within families through:
- Improving access to support and provision of information for the families and children of offenders and prisoners
- Integrating the work of the criminal justice agencies and family and children’s services in support of these vulnerable families
- Strengthening family ties of prisoners to aid their re-integration into their family and community where appropriate
The Partnership continues to support and nurture new networks, deliver practitioner training, influence strategic thinking and raise awareness around this theme. However the Family Approaches programme has developed this further with the introduction of volunteer staffed crisis intervention desks, to support families affected by imprisonment at the point of sentence in the Crown Courts across the Thames Valley.
For further information on the work of Family Approaches and how your local area can make a difference in supporting the needs of the families of offenders please contact Saj on 01844 202001 or alternatively email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Family Matters project has been successful in an application for funding from Buckinghamshire County Council’s Families First team. Families First is Buckinghamshire’s approach to the national ‘Troubled Families’ programme and focusses on providing intensive support to families affected by a range of issues including worklessness, poor school attendance and criminal involvement. This funding will enhance our work in Buckinghamshire by providing a range of services to enable the families of offenders to be better supported.
We were delighted that our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Lord Blair was personally able to support the Families Left Behind campaign at the Lords on 30th June 2014 – when the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill took place.
Lord Blair spoke for approximately 10 mins in all – during which time, amongst other topics raised, he highlighted the lack of support for prisoners’ families, and particularly for the children. A copy of the extract can be found in our recent Newsletter July 2014 which also includes other Partnership news from the last 6 months. We hope you enjoy reading.
Our multi-agency workshop begins by introducing the key facts and issues surrounding prisoners’ families. This enables delegates to gain an insight into the emotions and feelings of prisoners’ families. We […]
The Partnership has continually pioneered new ways of supporting families and sustaining family ties particularly prior to, during and after prison sentences. Due to a successful launch of the volunteer staffed […]
Find out more about New Leaf
Here are lists of our publications and other resources for people supporting offenders and their families.
Bottom Up and Top Down – Family Matters Conference March 2014
The day showcased the work of the Family Matters project over the preceding three years by disseminating findings from the Evaluation of the newly established Court Desk service. We heard from areas where there are examples of good integrated practice across Thames Valley and were also joined by colleagues providing us with the current national context and latest developments. The event was well attended by key leads from the Criminal Justice agencies and Children’s and Family Support services: A selection of material:
Family Approaches to the Criminal Justice System – Exec Summary (Dr Sam Wright March 2014)
Patsy Townsend (Thames Valley Partnership)
Family Approaches to the Criminal Justice System
Family Matters at Woodhill Prison
Tim Carter (Barnardos)