Children with a parent in prison

No child should be punished because their parent is in prison

We know that children who have a parent in prison can feel isolated and ashamed - and most feel unable to talk about it because they're scared of being bullied.

They're also more likely than other children to have mental health problems and to get in trouble with the law themselves as they grow up.

Girl and support working sitting at table

These children are often left in the shadows, their needs forgotten, and this can have devastating impacts. Despite their situation, they are locked out of the support they need to give them a better chance in life.

Barnardo's is one of the few organisations to help children with a parent in prison. We run training services for professionals as well as services in the community and in prisons to help maintain contact and support family relationships.

In 2016-17 we supported at least 1,300 children and their families affected by a parent in prison.

We also campaign across the UK to get these children's voices heard and their needs addressed.

It’s made a big difference in class really. I was struggling with things and as I’ve been talking to [a Barnardo's project worker] it’s made me feel I can do anything I want to do. I’ve got better at my lessons because she said I am good at things and I can do it.


Young person

In England and Wales the National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO) provides an information and support service for all professionals who come into contact with the children and families of offenders, as well as providing information for academics and those responsible for strategic development and commissioning family services.

NICCO helps to develop, support and enhance the relationship between offenders and their families by supplying information and guidance to the professionals who are working with them both.

The centre is delivered by Barnardo’s in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.

If you need any more information about the site, or wish to make a submission, please contact [email protected]