November 15, 2016
Award-winning PSS project features in BBC special film
An award-winning Liverpool-based project run by social enterprise PSS that provides support to children with a parent in prison will feature in a special film being broadcast on BBC One this week.
The Family Impact project will be in the spotlight in a documentary for Children in Need called ‘Prison, My Parents and Me’ which will reveal what it’s really like to lose a parent to the criminal justice system.
More than 10,000 children visit a prison every week, but while their parent is on the inside, outside the children are often bullied and left feeling isolated and ostracised.
During the documentary BAFTA-nominated film-maker Catey Sexton provides an insight into the lives of those often lost in the system and reveals how prisoners’ children are twice as likely to suffer from poor mental health, while two out of three boys with a dad in prison will go on to offend themselves.
The film follows several children with a parent in prison including Alex, 11 and Kyra, eight. The sisters attend a support group run by PSS and are coming to terms with their dad’s imprisonment as they are encouraged to tell him how they feel.
Also featured is Ruby, seven, who is coming to terms with her dad’s recent arrest and worries he may never come home. He is serving time in Altcourse Prison in Liverpool, one of just a handful that actively encourages strong family contact in the hope of reducing re-offending.
Dr Lorna Brookes, PSS Family Impact practitioner who runs the project, said: “We are very encouraged that an issue we feel passionate about is getting the national recognition it deserves and it was terrific to work with the team at True Vision Productions.
“While there’s little government support for children with a parent in prison, there is a great need. By providing help and support early on, these young people can look forward to a bright future and avoid more serious issues for families further down the line.”
The Family Impact project, which receives BBC Children in Need funding, adopts a ‘whole family’ approach to ensure that support is offered to the child, their parent or carer and, where possible, the prisoner parent post-release.
It provides a range of support including what to tell the children about the imprisonment; one to one support for children to discuss their feelings and emotional wellbeing and peer group support for children where they can meet others who share their experience.
Project workers work in partnership with schools, prisons, probation and social services and take children on prison visits where there is no other suitable adult to do so. Prisoner parents are also offered support post-release to help them to re-integrate back into family and community life.
The BBC Children in Need Special, ‘Prison, My Parents and Me’ will be broadcast on BBC One, 10.45pm on Tuesday 15th November
Notes for Editors:
As an organisation we developed some of the best known names in community support including Age Concern, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Legal Aid. Today our team continues this legacy of innovation. We sit alongside local government and NHS services plugging the gaps and providing ‘on the ground’ support for a wide range of people.
Our aim is simple and has been at the heart of what we do for a long time: to make the lives of those we work with better. In the 21st century we have evolved this mission to highlight the importance of encouraging people to choose their own support. We recognise when people are in need and help them find new and practical ways to get the most out of life. To make this a reality we provide a range of services which work across a wide spectrum of personal experience and need.
We never give up on finding the right service for each individual we work with. If we don’t have a service currently to meet their needs, we develop one and that is why we’ve been around for nearly 100 years.
Sue Ormesher on 0151 721 8763; mob: 0789 441 4121; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor Riley, Business Development and Communications Assistant, PSS, 0151 702 5581, email@example.com, 18 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4BE