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April 2010Vol. 11, No. 3A Toolkit for Working With Children of Incarcerated Parents

Current research suggests that children and youth of incarcerated parents often experience trauma that may have long-term effects on their mental health and may put them at risk for experiencing other traumas, such as child maltreatment. Accordingly, to promote understanding among social service practitioners, the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) within the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Health and Recovery Services Administration, teamed with DSHS' Office of Planning, Performance and Accountability to create an online toolkit, which includes tools for professionals, information for youth and caregivers, and research on interventions.

This web-based training toolkit provides practitioners with the skills required to respond to the needs of children of parents who are in prison or have an incarceration history.  Information includes:

  • Helpful Hints for Practitioners
  • The Children and Families of Incarcerated Parents Initiative in Washington State: Central Points
  • Free Online Training Video for Social Service Practitioners: Summary
  • Handouts for Practitioners, Families, and Caregivers
  • Reading Lists and Videos for Children, Caregivers, and Providers
  • Research and Information for Providers
  • Children of Incarcerated Parents: Bill of Rights
  • Beyond the Walls: A Guide to Services for Families Affected by Incarceration
  • Visitation Procedures and Inmate Locators for Prisons and Jails

A Behavioral Health Toolkit for Providers Working With Children of the Incarcerated and Their Families is available on the Washington State DSHS website: (534 KB)