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Young Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment


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 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.

Prison services delivered by Early Years Scotland

The Early Years Scotland  Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment Programme takes place in 6 prisons across the country. This includes HMP Castle Huntly, HMP Low Moss, HMP Greenock and HMP Barlinnie, HMP Edinburgh and HMP Cornton Vale. The programme has 2 componants which includes the Early Years Scotland Fathers' Programme and Learning Together Through Play sessions. The Fathers’ Programme covers topics such as brain development, attachment and bonding, child development, health and wellbeing, childrens’ rights, home safety, the importance of play and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). The play sessions provide opportunities for prisoners and their young children and families to interact, improve attachment and confidence and play and learn together. Most of all, these services provide valuable opportunities for children to feel that they have a bond and relationship with their father or mother, when they are in prison.

Fathers’ Programme 
The Fathers’ Programme comprises a mix of theoretical and interactive sessions aimed at supporting fathers to help achieve better outcomes for their children. Fathers are supported to build their skills, knowledge and confidence, all of which can then be implemented during Learning Together Through Play sessions which take place when their children come to visit.  This part of the programme lasts for two hours for a block of ten sessions at a time.  Almost all parents report that participation in the programme improves and strengthens their overall relationship with their child and family. 

Learning Together Through Play Sessions 
These sessions are available to those who have completed, or are currently undertaking the Fathers’ Programme, their young children and others involved in the child's care. These sessions enable fathers to practise the skills gained during the Fathers’ Programme. They then use these skills to ensure that their child benefits through play, improved interactions and a more enjoyable experience when they visit their father in prison.  These fun and interactive play sessions include support from the Early Years Scotland qualified Early Years Practitioner through role modelling by; demonstrating and encouraging families to participate in singing, action songs, rhymes, reading stories, messy play, arts and crafts learning experiences and free play sessions for children using a selection of resources.  

Mothers’ Programme
The Mothers’ Programme can be delivered between a 5 – 10-week period, either in small groups or individually. The programme comprises a mix of theoretical, interactive sessions alongside arts and crafts aimed at building knowledge, skills, wellbeing and confidence which can be implemented during visit sessions. The programme can also be tailored to individual needs prior to their release from prison, to work on improving current and future parent child relationships.

Learning Together Through Play Sessions 
The interactive play sessions take place during prison visits, where children come along to spend time with their mum as well as their carers. The sessions allow mothers to bond with their child and put into practice the knowledge and skills they have gained during the Mothers’ Programme.

These fun and interactive play sessions include support and role modelling from the EYS early years practitioner through; singing action songs and rhymes, reading stories, messy play, arts and crafts activities and free play sessions for the children with a selection of toys and resources.

Arts and crafts session
Some of the mothers may not receive visits from their children and other family members at the time of programme delivery.  Therefore, EYS will offer the opportunity for mothers to take part in art and craft sessions.  The sessions will allow mothers to be involved in making crafts such as; memory boxes and photo frames for their children, which can then be sent home to their children in the post. 

EYS Family Visitor Centre at HMP Low Moss

The Scottish Government has a commitment to ensure all prisons in Scotland have a visitor centre.

Opened in late 2017, the EYS Family Visitor Centre at HMP Low Moss is a place for families and friends to relax before their visit and access independent and impartial advice and information to support prisoners’ families.  Early Years Scotland is working in partnership with HMP Low Moss and we are proud to provide this service.

EYS Family Visitor Centre opening hours:

Monday        10.00am - 17.30pm
Tuesday       10.00am - 17.30pm
Wednesday  10.00am - 17.30pm
Thursday      10.00am - 17.30pm
Friday           10.00am - 17.30pm
Sunday         13.00pm - 17.00pm

The EYS Family Visitor Centre contact number at Low Moss: 0141 762 9703

Gavin Hamilton (Centre co-ordinator) - 07387 4142 71 gavin.hamilton@earlyyearsscotland.org
Angela Ross (Early Years Practitioner) - 07785 455 794 angela.ross@earlyyearsscotland.org 
Iasmina Tav (Family Support Worker) - iasmina.tav@earlyyearsscotland.org 

In normal circumstances the EYS Family Visitor Centre provides:

• Hot drinks
• Light refreshments
• Toilets and baby changing facilities
• Children’s play area
• Information, support, and advice
• School holiday activities

Contact Details:
Early Years Scotland
Crosshill Road
Bishopbriggs
Glasgow
G64 2QB
0141 -221 -4148

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