Friday, 24 June 2022
SHINE for Kids today welcomed a landmark report from a NSW Parliamentary Committee into the impact that having a parent in prison has on their children.
The NSW Children and Young People Committee self-referred an Inquiry into this issue in November 2019, and has now handed down its report recommending significant changes to the system.
SHINE for Kids, the national charity supporting children and young people whose parents are in prison, made a number of recommendations to the Committee to ensure the rights and wellbeing of children were at the core of the inquiry.
SHINE for Kids CEO, Julie Hourigan Ruse, said it was pleasing to see so much of the advice from SHINE for Kids was taken up in the final report.
“I would like to congratulate the NSW Children and Young People Committee for its hard work conducting this Inquiry and in preparing this report,” Ms Hourigan Ruse said.
“It is clear from the findings that the Committee has recognised the urgent need to implement a range of reforms to better care for this largely invisible group of children.
“There is a significant body of research that shows when a parent in prison remains connected with their child, there is less recidivism, and the child’s wellbeing is greatly improved.
“We have an opportunity to break the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage through sensible reform – let’s take those opportunities.
“We look forward to continuing to work productively with the Committee and Parliament, and the NSW Government as it prepares its response to this report.”
SHINE for Kids’ submission to the Inquiry draws on 40 years of practice, research and advocacy experience on the specific needs of children of prisoners both in NSW and nationally.
Children are confronted with a number of challenges when a parent or caregiver is in conflict with the law, including:
• They have to emotionally cope with the break-up of their family, and may need to be placed in alternative care.
• Losing their primary caregiver may result in financial hardship and make it difficult to access health services and education.
• They experience discrimination and stigma as a result of their parent’s status as a suspect, defendant or convicted prisoner.
For more information on SHINE for Kids, visit: shineforkids.org.au
Media contact: Billy Briggs | 0474 697 235