"Children of Prisoners, Interventions & Mitigation.. (COPING)
"Children of Prisoners, Interventions & Mitigations to Strengthen Mental Health"
Start date: Jan 1, 2010,
End date: Dec 31, 2012
"COPING presents a child-centred research strategy covering four European countries, the UK, Germany, Romania and Sweden, which will identify the characteristics of children with imprisoned parents, their resilience, and their vulnerability to mental health problems. This group of children are exposed to triple jeopardy through break-up of the family, financial hardship, and extremes of stigma and secrecy, leading to adverse social and educational repercussions. None of the four countries so far recognises the extreme disadvantage experienced by these young people. Support available, for example, in accessing prisons and participating in prison visits is extremely variable and mainly provided through non-governmental organisations. Support for imprisoned parents, whose moral authority is diminished through their incarceration, is equally inconsistent. The COPING research strategy places the clearest emphasis on knowledge obtained directly from children and young people. The project will commission surveys of 200 children in each country aged 11-16 with an imprisoned parent, using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, to ascertain coping strategies and mental health problems for these young people, which will be compared with normative population samples. Smaller groups of children and parents will be involved in in-depth qualitative interviews to explore the impact of parental imprisonment and support services available in greater detail. Interventions to support these families will be comprehensively mapped. Children will play a prominent role in disseminating research results to policy makers and professional bodies Impacts of the COPING research will include improvements in information about this group of children; step changes in Government and public awareness about their plight; potential new legislation; and improvements in prison regimes to enable effective contact and visits for children to imprisoned"
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