Press Releases

Children’s book written by dads in custody shines light on their kids this Father’s Day

MEDIA RELEASE

30 August 2023

Child advocacy and support organisation, SHINE for Kids has launched a new book in time for Father’s Day, The Sun Still Shines – aimed at children whose father is incarcerated.

“This book was self-initiated and written by incarcerated fathers in Clarence Correctional Centre in Grafton New South Wales, operated by Serco,” said SHINE for Kids CEO Julie Hourigan.

“The book is for their children, and for the 43,000 other children in Australia affected by parental incarceration every year, to whom they collectively send their comfort, love, and support.

“Father’s Day is a very difficult time for children with an incarcerated dad, who won’t be able to share in the many wonderful celebrations that their friends and peers may be enjoying.

“This book is to remind them they are not forgotten.”

The book was completed in collaboration Green Fox Studio, an award-winning creative agency and social enterprise that also trains and employs people with lived experience. The work was curated under the guidance of leading social worker and 2023 AASW Social Worker of the Year recipient Mary Jo McVeigh OAM.

“This was a joint initiative of SHINE for Kids, Serco and Green Fox Studio and I thank those parties for their collaboration and enthusiasm on this project.

We also thank Mary Jo McVeigh for her valuable contribution to ensuring that reading this story will be a comforting experience for children missing their parent.”

“The book will be initially available in the correctional centres SHINE for Kids work within, Family Centres, and for incarcerated dads doing the Storytime Program, with a desire to also distribute to local libraries as well,” Ms Hourigan added.

Serco Justice and Immigration Managing Director Michael Strickland said that innovative projects such as this strengthen connection to family and friends who play an integral role in the rehabilitation and reintegration process.

“This book has been designed to support children through the challenges of separation from a parent who is in custody,” said Mr Strickland.

“Our focus is to deliver rehabilitation initiatives to ensure that meaningful outcomes are achieved, which create a positive impact on those in our care, their families and the community to which they will return upon release.”

“We’re deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to be part of this initiative,” said Kelly Willmott Co-Founder and Managing Director, Green Fox Studio.

“We believe in the transformative power of creativity, and our joint initiative with Serco and SHINE for Kids stands as a testament to the potential for positive change when individuals and businesses work together for social impact.

“We also believe in second chances, and we hope that everyone who reads this book can see growth and brighter futures in the heartfelt words of the prisoners who wrote it.”

SHINE for Kids supports children and young people exposed to the justice system, with the core objective of reducing intergenerational harm.

SHINE for Kids delivers programs and services to support children and young people with a parent in prison.

It also delivers programs to support children and young people in youth correction centres.

The full book can be accessed here.

Media contact: Damian Kelly | 0401 773 825

Children’s book written by dads in custody shines light on their kids this Father’s Day

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