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Product ID: 391979EAU
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A Cycle of Tragedy: Incarcerated Parents and Child Reunification

OnDemand Webinar (92 minutes)

Separation from attachment figures is a significant risk factor for future problems. Attachment difficulties likely to result are: lack of trust, diminished self esteem, depression, anxiety, promiscuity, early pregnancy, delinquency, addiction, less than optimum cognitive development, and in many instances, ultimately incarceration. If you work with children who have been through the trauma of childhood separation, or their incarcerated parents, this OnDemand Webinar is designed to give you an overview of what occurs with parents and children, and the strategies for reunification, especially when there has been child or spousal abuse. This program will assist you to understand the dynamics of the problems that arise in such cases. It is designed to help workers see the need for early and continuous intervention.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to discuss why separation is a trauma.
  • You will be able to review re-entry planning.
  • You will be able to discuss that maintaining child parent contacts during incarceration is critical.


Russell Bader, MSW, LCSW, Private Practice


Why Is Separation a Trauma?

• Secure Relationships With Parents Are the Origin of the Sense of Self and Others

• Loss of Routine, Emotional and/or Financial Security

• Displacement From Friends, Schools and Teachers

• Object Relations: Disruption

• PTSD = Not Getting Along With Others and Lack of Success in School

Healing Strategies Begin Immediately Upon Arrest

• Insure Regular Contact and Communication

• Welfare Agencies Obligated to Work Towards Reunification

Maintaining Child Parent Contacts During Incarceration Is Critical

• For the Child

' An Opportunity to Express Emotions and Reactions to Parents

' Preserve Important Connections

' Assures the Child That the Parent Is Safe

' Promotes Realistic Understanding of the Parent’s Circumstances

' Child Welfare Agencies Must Coordinate With and Law Enforcement at the Time of Arrest

• For the Parent

' Allows Parents and Children to Deal With Separation and Loss Issues

' Maintain Role as Parents

' Reduces Recidivism

' Begin to Discuss Reunification Issues

' Police and Social Worker Joint Training Is Vital

' Parent’s Ability to Communicate With Social Workers and Placements Can Be Restricted From Jail

' Welfare Agencies Must Use Reasonable Efforts to Reunify Parents and Child

' A Period of Incarceration of a Violent Parent May Be Useful to the Outside Parent and Child

Re-Entry Planning

• Employment Assistance, Substance Abuse Treatment, Housing Assistance, Victim Support

• A Violent Parent During Incarceration May Be More Open to Self Reflection

• Parents Have Fundamental Right to Receive Notice of Any Hearings Concerning Their Children

• Visitation and Counseling Process Should Be in the Company of a Skilled Third-Party

• The Child Benefits From Advocacy at the Earliest Possible Point