In the project we plan to undertake action in two areas:

– direct, based on group work (sociotherapy) with children and adolescents as part of strengthening and activating workshops, as well as preparing for the role of self-advocates in the group of prisoners’ children. In the area of direct impact there is also a support group for adult family members of prisoners and a Helpline offering information and emotional support as well as assistance in the field of crisis intervention.

– indirect, based on organizing training aimed at professional groups that have contact with the families of prisoners and aimed at drawing attention to the needs and rights of children and families.
Target groups: Prison Service, school educators, social workers, probation officers. An indirect influence is also carrying out a social campaign called “Not my fault, but my punishment”.

Below is an extensive description of the actions to be taken.

Ø  Social therapy classes for children.

Due to the experience of stigmatization and shame in relation to parental detention, it is important to support the child and show that he or she is not alone in the difficult situation. The classes will be focused on the education and development of children’s resources, conducted by a pair of specialists, in two age groups: 11-14 years and 15-18 years. It is important to take into account the specific situation of each child based on a reliable diagnosis of risk and protective factors. Among older children, we plan to create a group of ambassadors who, using their resources and experiences, will support younger or less experienced children. This action is also intended to empower children (adolescents) to lobby for their own group – to act as self-advocates. The action will be carried out in Krakow in two age groups throughout the project implementation period. The groups will be semi-open. People already known to the Applicant will be invited to participate in the project, we also plan to reach potential recipients through social media and the Internet and by conducting campaigns in prisons.

Ø  A self-help support group for adult family members of prisoners.

The practice shows the beneficial effect of obtaining support by a person experiencing a crisis in connection with the penitentiary isolation of a loved one. A mutual help group, created by people with similar problems, run by a person from the target group with the support of a professional. The conducted interactions will also aim at strengthening the role of self-advocates among participants. The group will be conducted in Krakow throughout the entire project implementation period. The group will be semi-open. People already known to the Applicant will be invited to participate in the project, we also plan to reach potential recipients through social media and the Internet and by conducting campaigns in prisons.

Ø  The Helpline.

It is a form of contact that provides quick access to specialist help and ensures anonymity, which for many family members of prisoners affected by the stigma is a sense of security. The Phone will be available to all people interested in getting help, regardless of where they are. There will be a possibility of conducting a conversation in Polish or English. The telephone will be provided as part of the employee’s on-call duty throughout the project implementation period. We plan to launch extensive activities promoting the Helpline, incl. via social networks, websites devoted to the subject of detention and post-penitentiary aid and inviting the Prison Service to cooperation.

Ø  Training for professional groups of the support sectors working with the family on the rights and needs of family members and relatives of prisoners, with particular emphasis on children of inmates.

The training will consist of a short theoretical part (lecture) and a developed practical part (workshop). It will be a one-day training, lasting 8 didactic hours. Five training sessions are planned: two for representatives of the Prison Service and one for school educators, social workers and probation officers. The training will be conducted in Krakow. Invitations will be sent to representatives of the indicated professional groups.

Ø  Social campaign “Not my crime, but still my sentence”.

The aim of the campaign is to familiarize the general public with the situation of children of prisoners and to sensitize them to their specific situation and the resulting needs, as well as to raise awareness of the problem of exposing these children to stigmatization and social exclusion. The campaign will be implemented through the preparation and production of film material, development and distribution of leaflets and brochures, promotion in local media and social networks.