On Friday 14th June a group of children and young people travelled to Westminster to tell MPs, Peers (members of the House of Lords), policy officials, journalists, prison governors and a handful of academics, what it has been like for them to experience parental imprisonment, and what they think should be done to change that experience for other children.
The children are all connected to community organisations that support children with a family member in prison. There are very few of these organisations across the UK and most were represented. Children Heard and Seen, My Time, Vox Liminis Kin project, Nepacs and Families Outside had gathered children from England and Scotland. The conference was conceived of and organised by Dr Lorna Brookes (My Time Project / Liverpool John Moores University) and Sarah Burrows (Children Heard and Seen).
It was a child-led conference so the registration, key notes, questions, ideas, planning of the conference all came from children and young people.
The role of the adults was to listen to the children and young people, and answer their questions about why the system is as it is.