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This research study commissioned by SHINE for Kids and funded by the ACT Health Directorate aims to fill an important gap in knowledge about how prisoners are constructed as parents, and the impacts of incarceration upon prisoners’ families in contemporary Australian society, by exploring and highlighting children’s voices. The research centres on hearing and understanding the experiences of children who have or have had an incarcerated parent.

The research study aimed to:

  • Deepen the understanding of the lives of children of prisoners by exploring their experiences of parental incarceration and the impact this has on them;
  • Identify appropriate individual, family and community supports and interventions informed by the children themselves in the context of multiple system involvement (e.g. child protection, criminal justice, health); and,
  • Inform the development of more integrated policy and practice responses to families who experience multiple and complex issues.


Institute of Child Protection Studies

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