Parenting in Prisons

Prison Parenting @ Send

 

Each school term a parenting course is run at HMP Send.  Currently (2019) two MU parenting facilitators have joined the team of facilitators led by Tracy Sickel, who is the Free church chaplain.  Working in this supportive team is a huge privilege, even though it comes with a rather early morning start.  We have to be at the prison for 8am.  The course is held in the Chaplaincy, in the Chapel.

 We use the Positive Parenting material, Time Out for Parents Primary Years, to which we add parts from both the Early Years course and Teenage course as is appropriate for the particular ladies on each course.  To help make the course more relevant to the ladies we also have additional material tailored to prison life.  The prison morning session is a long one, so we have added a craft activity for the final part of the morning.  This also helps the ladies relax before they leave us.  Talking about their children when they often have little, often unsatisfactory, contact with them can be very painful.  Although most of the ladies are apprehensive about coming on the course, almost without exception they have benefited from the sessions.  They often relax when they realize we are there to encourage them and empower them in their parenting and certainly not to tell them they are bad parents.  Most are good parents, facing huge challenges.