A special day set aside for children of prisoners to spend time with their parents
A Child/Parent Activity Day attempts to provide a more “normal” environment in which a child and parent can interact, by providing activities that child and parent can do together, for example, creating art and craft or playing ball. Giving the imprisoned parent an opportunity to make their child’s lunch, to feed a bottle, play and create without the other carer present can be empowering for them by allowing them to participate in an everyday parenting task that they’re otherwise unable to undertake.
Child/Parent Activity Days are for inmates and their children, 0–18 years old. Other family members do not attend – it’s specifically for the inmates and their children. A Child/Parent Activity Day is held for a longer period than usual visits. It spans 4 hours, and morning tea and lunch is provided for the children and inmates.
The program has operated in various correctional centres for years and is embraced by offenders, their families and corrective services personnel alike. The program usually operates in school holidays so that most children can attend. Some correctional centres hold them just prior to Christmas, but they can coincide with other occasions during the year such as Easter, St Patricks Day, Chinese New Year, National Families Week, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and NAIDOC Week.
Who can participate?
A criminal history check is conducted on each inmate applying. Inmates who have a history of child sex offences will not be allowed to participate in this program.
A case management is conducted to recommend to the General Manager who should participate in the day. The case management meeting will take into account the following:
- The relationship between the inmate and the child/children
- Whether the Carer has returned the carer permission form
- Whether the child/children want to attend
SHINE for Kids supplies transport to and from these days within available resources.