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We are very pleased to share with you the new research study ‘Maintaining family contact during COVID-19: Describing the experiences and needs of children with a family member in prison’ led by Monash University together with Australian National University and Griffith University and commissioned by SHINE for Kids. Thank you to our Practice, Research and Advocacy Meeting (PRAM) members who provided feedback and support as we were responding to COVID and developing the survey.

A huge thank you to Dr Catherine Flynn, Dr Susy Harrigan, Professor Lorana Bartels and Professor Susan Dennison. We are truly grateful for all their hard work in making this happen and producing such a useful report. Thank you also to April Long, our National Operations Manager, whose tireless work and knowledge was instrumental in coordinating this report.

Thank you also all the families and carers of children of prisoners who participated.

SHINE will now start the work of developing an Advocacy Plan around dissemination of the report to key stakeholders within government and service sector. Whilst respondents were NSW centric we are hopeful that other state departments and Ministers will respond to the findings also.

In terms of learnings for SHINE’s practice response we will use this research to unpack what this means for our programs now and into the future. We are continuing to advocate for visits to be reinstated and children prioritised across all states where SHINE provides services and supports. We are also happy to advise that in QLD we are now able to bring children in for Playgroup in all 5 women’s prisons which is providing much needed contact.

You can download the report here