Families First – Worcestershire Families You Are Not Alone

Thanks to Families First, Worcestershire children and families affected by parental imprisonment are no longer alone.

Families First supports the whole family during what is an extremely difficult time, with children the innocent victims of circumstances outside of their control who often carry the shame of the imprisoned parent’s offence.

Feelings of bereavement and isolation are common and parental imprisonment is an adverse childhood experience which can result in long term impacts on mental health, the ability to learn, and identity; children are the invisible victims.

Launched by YSS at the end of last year, Families First supports children and families from the point of arrest and custody through to court, remand, sentencing, prison and through to release helping to reduce the emotional turmoil and anguish experienced by so many children and families across the county.

In Worcestershire there is estimated to be some 2,500 children, and nationally around 312,000 children, affected by parental imprisonment.

YSS CEO Catherine Kevis, explains: “At present there are no systems in place to help identify and support families affected by parental incarceration. Families First is now changing this by working with schools, children’s and government services. Families can easily access Families First support and we ensure they feel comfortable when they do.

“Families First provides a safe space where families can create links and share their experiences with other families in a similar situation, helping them to create their own personal support network.

“For these families reaching out and asking for help feels like the scariest thing to do, but by taking this first step and contacting Families First, we can help, and we’re waiting to support and guide them through what is an emotional and daunting journey.”                      

To contact Families First email: familiesfirst@yss.org.uk

The Families First service has support from Worcestershire County Council and two charitable trusts.

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