our news

Taking our children to Krakow COPE conference

By Maria Semmonds, Family Project Delivery Lead   Brilliant young people from England, Poland, Norway and Sweden! Each year it’s estimated that 312,000 children are impacted by the imprisonment of a parent.  As the prison population continues to rise, so does the number of children who experience a parent in prison. In the last 4 years we at Children Heard and Seen have worked with almost 400 children, young people and their families to support their needs, listen to their concerns, and have their views heard and reflected in national and local policy.  To us at Children Heard and Seen, It’s part of our ethos, that the children and families we work with have their voices heard, and therefore where possible we ensure they attend conferences with us, and their voices are part of the conversation on their needs.  Every year we go to the Children of Prisoners Europe (COPE) conference, and this year we were able to take some of the inspirational, brilliant young people we work with along with us. The 5 children who attended had their own part in the conference, and it meant that they were able to share their first hand experiences with the other delegates, influencing practitioners and policy internationally about what needs to change to meet their needs. This was a phenomenal experience and Children Heard and Seen were honoured to support the young people to disclose their feelings on the European stage.  They were able to explain that even though they did not commit a crime, they still feel as if they are being punished. They discussed a whole range of... read more

What happens to prisoners when they are released, have nowhere to go but want to be close to their children to start rebuilding their lives?

To whom it may concern, Two years ago my husband was sentenced to prison for fraud and he is due for release in early September 2018. We have two children and are now divorced. A POCA hearing and subsequent confiscation has taken everything he owned so he has nothing. He has been working for the last few months while in prison to save up a deposit in the hope he can rent somewhere when he is released. However this is proving to be impossible. We, his family are in Oxford and despite his request to be sent to Springhill near his children he was sent to a prison in Gloucestershire. Apparently as he wants to find accommodation in Oxford where he has lived all his life and has family, there is little help where he is as their targets are for people wanting to be rehomed in Gloucester. He has had an appointment with his probation officer this week (his last before release). He has also had appointments with a housing officer in Oxford and Catch 22 but it seems that there is absolutely no help for him on his release for housing. His probation officer has said as he is not a danger to anyone or deemed vulnerable there is no help and she suggested if he gets really stuck she can get him a tent! How can this be? Yes he has made a mistake which has resulted in him serving a prison sentence (incidentally this was due to a gambling addiction which probation have yet to address and help him with rehabilitation) but prior to this... read more

A Point of View – Luke’s short film!

Luke, alongside his volunteer mentor Jess decided that he would like to make a film which he titled “A Point of View”. The film is about what is it like to have a parent in prison from Luke’s... read more