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March 2013Vol. 14, No. 2NRC on Children and Families of the Incarcerated

Recent data show that there are approximately 2 million children in the United States that have at least one parent in prison or jail. Parental incarceration can adversely affect the family unit and child development and has substantial implications in the child welfare field. The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI) at the Family and Corrections Network (FCN) is dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of these children and families and the programs, policies, and practices that serve and advocate for them.

The NRCCFI website is organized into the following sections:

  • Resources provides NRCCFI and partner resources, including links to searchable, online libraries; factsheets, books, films, and FAQs; a directory for U.S. and international programs that work with children and families of the incarcerated; notes and transcripts from conferences and trainings; and a national calendar of events.
  • Research and Review provides information and specific research in three areas: the characteristics of children of incarcerated parents, effective programs and services, and the variety of ways children and families are affected by parental incarceration.
  • Policy and Practice highlights many of the projects that NRCCFI participates in and examines the policy and advocacy initiatives, promising practices, and evidence-based practices that address this area of interest.
  • Products and Publications lists the resources NRCCFI has available for purchase. These items are designed for professionals who work with children and families of the incarcerated.
  • Training and Technical Assistance provides information and links to a number of onsite and telephone trainings for professionals and programs that serve these children and families.

The NRCCFI online library provides resources for parents and caregivers, as well as child welfare, health, criminal justice, and other related service providers and professionals. Impact of Parental Incarceration adapted from Responding to Children and Families of Prisoners: A Community Guide, is designed to aid professionals working with children and families of incarcerated parents. It broadly discusses the feelings of loss and hopelessness many youth experience and suggests that maintaining positive contact and communication with an imprisoned caregiver, when appropriate, has beneficial effects on a child's ability to manage the crisis. It also highlights the risk factors and stigma associated with having an incarcerated family member.

For more information on NRCCFI and to access the resources for parents and professionals in the online libraries, visit:

Impact of Parental Incarceration is available directly: (84 KB)