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Young Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment

At HMP Low Moss, near Glasgow, our Learning Together Through Play programme is one example of our work with prisoners and their families.

We recognise that the breakdown of family relationships when a parent is in prison can lead to a higher risk of re-offending and of children growing up to become offenders themselves.

We are currently working in six prisons (HMP Low Moss, HMP Dumfries, HMP Barlinnie, HMP Greenock, HMP Castle Huntly and HMP & YOI Grampian) in partnership with prison staff, to support prisoners, their partners and children during this difficult time in their lives.

At Low Moss, Learning Together Through Play provides prisoners with opportunities to improve attachments with their children so that relationships are more likely to stay strong, leading to more positive outcomes for the children.

Other programmes we run in Scottish prisons include Pre-visit Play Sessions for prisoners’ partners and children. These sessions are designed to reduce stress before the visit itself and to support the partners to provide enriched interactions and home learning environments for their children.
During Family Visit Sessions, our qualified Early Years Practitioners work with the whole family to facilitate shared approaches to play, learning and healthy living during family visit sessions.

Consultation with parents and prison staff lead to the creation the Fathers’ Programme in HMP Dumfries, which is now running in all four prisons, and involves the Early Years Practitioner working directly with fathers to support early attachment, bonding and an understanding of their children’s development, including the importance of play.

Early Years Scotland won a prestigious SSSC Care Accolade Award in 2014 for our work in prisons.