A new advice service for professionals working with children affected by parental imprisonment has been launched. Every year, it is thought that around 200,000 children will have a parent in prison.
Called “i-HOP” – Information Hub on Offenders’ families with children for Professionals – the new service gives professionals, including teachers, access to support and advice, allowing them to share best practice.
It is thought to be the first service of its kind and is free to join. Members can access a directory of resources and information about partner organisations, as well as search for services, training, research and policy.
The service, which already has 200 members, has been created by Barnardo’s and POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group) and has been funded by the Department for Education.
Sam Monaghan, Barnardo’s director of children’s services, said: “Every year 200,000 children experience the trauma of having a parent in prison, but they are all too often a hidden group of vulnerable young people.
“All services for children and young people should know about the issues faced by children of prisoners but there is currently little information-sharing between agencies.
“i-HOP will tackle this by providing a single hub where all professionals working with children who have been affected by having a parent in prison can share knowledge and best practice, find out about training opportunities, and get in touch with other organisations and consortia.”
To join i-HOP, visit www.i-hop.org.uk/app/home, and for more information on POPS, go to www.partnersofprisoners.co.uk