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A CHILD OF AN INCARCERATED PARENT

 

The Reality

  • Every year over 150 000 adults are remanded into custody which results in approximately 180 000 innocent children who suffer from the traumatic affect of parental incarceration in Canada.
  • Over 5000 children are impacted by parental imprisonment in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The number of children affected by parental incarceration will only increase with the passing of the Crime Bill C-10 and the construction of a new detention centre in South Etobicoke which will hold 1600 men.

The Need

  • Despite the growing prevalence of these innocent victims the resources available are minimal.
  • The cost and lack of accessibility to correctional facilities restrict child-parent visits. Consequently, some children never visit their incarcerated parents.
  • This highlights the need for FEAT and our supportive programming.

The Impact

  • Children of incarcerated parents grieve the loss of their parent.
  • These children are four times more likely to be in conflict with the law.
  • Social stigma of incarceration causes some families to avoid discussing the absence of a parent.

Research suggests that parental incarceration has a detrimental impact on children. These innocent children suffer the traumatic experience of being separated from their parent. Following parental imprisonment, children are faced with a myriad of challenges including:

  • Feelings of shame, grief, guilt, abandonment, and anger
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Economic instability
  • Social stigma and isolation
  • Disconnection from parent
  • Insecurity in familial and peer relationships
  • School absenteeism and poor school performance
  • Difficulty in coping with future stress and trauma
  • Compromised trust in others including law enforcement