Children Heard and Seen

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Supporting children and young people impacted by parental imprisonment.

Children Heard and Seen support children, young people and their families who are impacted by parental imprisonment. It is estimated that 312,000 children each year have a parent in prison, although there is no database of who these children are and whether they are receiving support. As the prison population continues to rise, so does the number of children impacted. Children Heard and Seen over the past six years have worked alongside over 200 families and nearly 500 children and young people. We strive to support their needs, listen to their concerns, and have their views heard and reflected in policy.

About us

Children Heard and Seen is a charity which provides support and interventions for children with a parent in prison. The charity was set up in 2014, with a focus on reducing intergenerational offending, and mitigating the impacts of parental imprisonment for children and young people. Whilst we are primarily based in Oxfordshire, the introduction of online support during the pandemic means that we are now able to accept referrals to support families across the country.

Our director is a qualified social worker who has over thirty years of experience working with children and families. We have a well informed trustee board which includes a prison governor, a senior criminologist, a former MP, and a senior safeguarding manager for social care.

In 2019 we won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise the exceptional service within their communities. In 2020, we were also awarded the Outstanding Regional/Local Organisation Award by the Criminal Justice Alliance for our work in supporting families throughout the pandemic.

Registered Charity Number 1157879

Our Purpose

Children Heard and Seen, is a charity that works to mitigate the effects of parental imprisonment on children, young people and their families. We aim to provide quality services for children with a family member in prison.

When a family with a parent in prison takes the brave step of getting in touch with us, our specialised staff work with them to create a tailored wraparound and holistic package of support. We work with the family to determine the developmental needs of each child, the nature of the parent’s offence and the child’s relationship with the imprisoned parent. 

We are committed to:

  • Providing high quality, tailored support for children and their families. 
  • Breaking the cycle of inter-generational offending and family breakdown.
  • Increasing awareness around the pain of parental imprisonment and uplifting children’s voices.
  • Raising the aspirations and achievement of young people with a parent in prison.
  • Using our knowledge to advocate for changes in policy, both locally and nationally.

For more information about the work that we do, please read our most recent Impact Report, available to view below.