A MESSAGE FROM JUDGE FRANK SULLIVAN
Engaging Incarcerated Parents
This week I had the opportunity to virtually participate on a panel discussion at the National CASA/GAL Convention addressing engaging incarcerated parents in Child Protection Cases. While the widespread belief was that incarcerated parents were not regularly involved in their children’s lives, national studies reveal that 48% of incarcerated parents lived with their children one month prior to their arrest or incarceration. Research further shows that when a child enters foster care, social workers often engage in little outreach to incarcerated parents and make little effort to include them in the case planning for their children. Engaging incarcerated parents is important as the parent may be a viable permanency option upon release, able to connect their children to other permanency resources (relatives, fictive kin), and able to provide valuable information about the child’s health, education, and family history. Moreover, it is important for children to know that their incarcerated parent cares about them and to know how their parent is doing. Read more.