Divorce is a stressful process for families. One parent being incarcerated further complicates several aspects of the family relationship, such as communication, custody arrangements, child support, and relationship maintenance. This guide is part of a series aimed at helping families in which parents are separated or divorcing and who share parenting responsibilities for children.
What happens to children when their parent is released from jail or prison? The answers vary. It depends in part, on the quality of the attachment to that parent before and during incarceration.(Adalist-Estrin, 1993) Another factor is the extent of the trauma created by the parent’s offense, arrest, and imprisonment. (Johnston, 1992)
The child’s adjustment to a parent’s parole is also significantly related to the presence and quality of protective factors and support systems that were available during the incarceration period and upon release. (Gaynes, 1994, Johnston, 1993) Finally…
On behalf of the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study partnered with Responsible Fatherhood programs and experts in the field to identify high-priority questions and emerging service approaches. Programs use a number of promising models to work with fathers, but rigorous studies have not yet shown which are effective and worth expanding or replicating.
The B3 team is rigorously evaluating three new and emerging service approaches…
Provides an overview of State laws related to the rights of unmarried fathers and the methods by which a man may establish a legal parent-child relationship with his child. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional protection of an unmarried father's parental rights when he has established a substantial relationship with his child. The circumstances in which a man may be presumed to be the father of a child, the use of putative fathers' registries, the use of genetic tests to establish parentage, and the right of rescission of paternity claims also are discussed. Summaries of laws…
Visitation can be an important and meaningful experience for incarcerated parents and their children, but it can also bea source of stress and anxiety when parents’ or children’s expectations do not align with what ends up happening. Many aspects of visitation are outside of the control of an incarcerated parent, but there are things you can do to anticipate problems and reduce stress to make visitation a positive and beneficial experience for everyone involved. Below are things to consider when planning for a visit from your child. If you do not know the answer to a question, think about who…
This podcast, created by the Institute for Research on Poverty, describes a new study on attachment in children who have an incarcerated father and discusses some of the factors that may lead to differences in children’s attachment behaviors. (Author abstract)
This brief describes implementation findings from the evaluation of Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners (MFS-IP) funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). It documents innovative parenting supports provided to incarcerated and reentering fathers and their families. (Author abstract)
This video from the Center for Court Innovation explains the UPNEXT program, a workforce development program for fathers, many of whom have interacted with the justice system. The information is given from the perspective of a successful program participant who explains how UPNEXT helped him become updated on his child support, find and maintain a job, and regain custody of his daughter. (Author abstract modified)
This brief, one of three in a series, describes the key strategies Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project (Fatherhood Reentry) programs used to provide responsible parenting activities to participating fathers and their families. The brief also provides recommendations, based on an implementation study of the Fatherhood Reentry programs, for practitioners implementing responsible parenting activities for the reentry population. (Author abstract)
This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project (Fatherhood Reentry) programs’ efforts to support healthy marriage among program participants. Fatherhood Reentry programs included several activities to strengthen relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage healthy coparenting and family reunification. This brief describes the activities provided by the Fatherhood Reentry programs and offers recommendations, based on an implementation study of the Fatherhood Reentry projects, for…