New Web Presence for YSS Families First Worcestershire Service

YSS’s Families First, a Worcestershire service supporting children and families affected by parental imprisonment, has launched a dedicated web page to enable families to easily access advice, help and support.

In Worcestershire alone there are an estimated 2,500 children, nationally around 312,000 children, affected by parental imprisonment, with studies highlighting the devastating impact it has including bullying, feelings of shame and isolation, with the children of prisoners also at an increased risk of lower academic achievement, reduced school attendance and the heightened possibility of exclusion.

YSS CEO Catherine Kevis commented: “Families First’s new web page offers information and details of who we can support and how we can bring together professional partners and community organisations to support families, as well as details of how to contact us.

“By taking preventative steps to help children through a difficult period, it is possible for families to break the recurring issues caused by parental incarceration, which too often can combine youth offending, repeated episodes of low mood and poor attendance at school. When families are supported in a positive way by their local community and with some practical help, they can move on with their life and achieve their goals.”

Families First supports the whole family during what is an extremely difficult time, with children of prisoners often carrying the shame of the imprisoned parent’s offence. Offering support from the point of arrest and custody through to court, remand, sentencing, prison and release, Families First works to reduce the emotional turmoil and anguish experienced by so many children and families across the county.

You can support the work of Families First by downloading a poster from their web page to share on social media or to display in your local community.

Added Catherine: “Please visit our Families First web page ( and find out what practical help we can offer and the support available, as at present there are no systems in place to identify and support families affected by parental incarceration.

“We would also encourage our professional partners, schools, children’s and government services, and any families in Worcestershire and the surrounding counties needing advice, to email: or call our main phoneline 01905 730780 and leave a message and one of our Families First key workers will call back.”

Children of prisoners are:

• At higher risk of mental health issues, with the sudden removal of a parent creating feelings of separation and loss similar to bereavement.
• Children can develop anxiety around the potential loss of other family members or about the welfare of their imprisoned parent.
• Families can lose their benefit entitlement putting them at higher risk of rent arrears, debt and poverty.
• Children of prisoners are more likely to offend, with 65% of prisoners’ sons entering the criminal justice system.