Family-friendly, supportive venues when visiting prisons
Visiting a prison can be a daunting and confusing experience for anyone.
Our Child and Family Centres in New South Wales provide child-friendly, supportive venues for families, children and all visitors to drop in when visiting prisons, to relax and unwind before or after their visit.
- For families, the staff and volunteers provide emotional support, assistance and opportunities to connect with others in the same situation.
- For the child, the Centres are designed to break up the visit and give them some time out and just be kids, play with others in the same situation and associate visiting their parent with a pleasant experience.
- For the parent, these Centres offer some time alone to maintain their relationship while the children are being minded in a safe place.
The Drop-in Service is a much-appreciated use of our Child and Family Centres by parents and carers before or after a visit – somewhere to just relax with a cuppa, let the children engage with crafts and play where it is clean and friendly, and talk to someone who listens to them without judging them by what the family member has done. Families also connect through meeting here.
Families who are new to the prison system often have no idea what to expect or how the process works. During drop-in we can explain to the families how SHINE for Kids can help them in other ways, or provide referrals to relevant community agencies. They leave feeling more at ease and with a better understanding of what is best to do and where they need to go.