Every Night You Cry: the realities of having a father in prison (Barnardo’s)

30 October 2009

An estimated 160,000 children in the UK have a parent in prison – mostly their fathers. This is more than twice the number of children in care; and over six times the number of children on the child protection register – and a lack of recording means this may be an underestimate.

This report, published in October 2009, was developed from interviews with 15 women and 11 children from the Bristol area, whose father was in prison. The report recommends:

  • systematic collection of data on the children of prisoners to ensure that they are identified at the earliest opportunity and their support needs addressed
  • measures put in place for courts to have information on the impact on the children of a defendant of any sentence they may make
  • guidance in place to ensure that the needs of these children are specifically addressed in children’s plans
  • Westminster and devolved governments consider following the example of DHSSPS, Northern Ireland, in developing a memorandum of understanding between all agencies and organisations involved in the lives of children and families of prisoners – setting out respective roles, responsibilities and terms of engagement for partnership working.

The full report is freely downloadable from Barnardo’s website  

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