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September 2013Vol. 14, No. 7Working With Children With Incarcerated Parents

A growing number of children in care have one or more incarcerated parents, and parental absence due to imprisonment correlates with several negative outcomes. To improve services to this vulnerable population, the Federal Interagency Working Group for Children of Incarcerated Parents produced a toolkit for child welfare agencies, Federal prisons, and residential reentry centers. The toolkit provides information to help facilitate communication and cooperation between the professionals working in both the child welfare and justice systems so that parents can stay engaged in the lives of their children.

The toolkit includes:

  • Frequently asked questions for social workers and for residential reentry centers
  • Timelines for both child welfare and incarceration system processes
  • A glossary of commonly used terms by different agencies
  • A list of myths associated with the child welfare system
  • State child welfare agency contact information
  • Additional resources for professionals and families

The Federal Interagency Working Group for Children of Incarcerated Parents is composed of members from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Domestic Policy Council.

Children in Foster Care With Parents in Federal Prison: A Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies, Federal Prisons, and Residential Reentry Centers is available here: (3 MB)