Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > A Holistic, Relational and Trauma Informed Appr...
View graph of relations

A Holistic, Relational and Trauma Informed Approach to Incarceration: Insights from Research and Practice

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date12/08/2019
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventInternational Conference for Children of Incarcerated Parents - University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 12/08/2019 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference for Children of Incarcerated Parents
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period12/08/19 → …


This paper brings together mixed-methodology research findings, with practitioner experiences of reuniting children with incarcerated parents, and a trauma-informed approach to holistic family support for children and families, before, during and after parental incarceration.

Based on a quantitative analysis of 2007/08 to 2018/19 data - provided by the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Services in England (Cafcass) - we present population-level trends on children with incarcerated parents who appear in public family law proceedings. We also draw on our in-depth qualitative longitudinal work, exploring family experiences of incarceration, on their ongoing life trajectories, before, during and following release from prison.

The second part of the presentation turns to practice insights. The focus is on moving away from punitive, risk models towards the possibilities of rehabilitation and reuniting families. This approach involves the promotion of child-sensitive strategies to supporting both children and parents through the experience of incarceration. In this light, incarceration can provide a key ‘pause’ to carry out trauma-informed work with both children and families.

Overall, the results underscore the value of a relational approach in research and practice, to build a fuller picture of incarceration. Our findings provide support towards inclusive services that address the holistic needs of families, which involves viewing incarceration from the perspectives of children, parents and extended family.