Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

May 2016Vol. 17, No. 3Families Affected by Parental Incarceration

Child Welfare Information Gateway published a new bulletin for professionals that provides an overview of the intersection of child welfare and parental incarceration. While most children whose parents are incarcerated remain in their homes, some become involved to some degree with child welfare while their parents are incarcerated. The bulletin describes the characteristics of incarcerated parents and their children, addresses how the Adoption and Safe Families Act may affect this population, and discusses the effect of parental incarceration on families. There is a focus on working with families affected by parental incarceration, including discussion of the following topics:

  • How to locate incarcerated parents
  • Case planning and reunification
  • Visiting and other contact
  • Programs for incarcerated parents and their children
  • Working with caregivers
  • When parents are detained or deported for immigration issues

The bulletin includes additional resources for more information and a knowledge checklist to help professionals prepare to work with incarcerated parents and their families. Access Child Welfare Practice With Families Affected by Parental Incarceration on the Information Gateway website at