Supporting Children and Young People

Scottish Government figures estimate that 20,000 children in Scotland have a parent in prison each year – more than are affected each year by divorce.

Information for parents and young people

Having a family member in prison can create challenges for children and young people, which may affect their education, their behaviour and their physical and mental health. It’s important for young people to know that they are not alone, that the family are not guilty, and that they can talk to someone they trust about what is happening and how they are feeling. Parents, trusted adults and schools are well placed to provide support. Families Outside provides information on talking to children and young people about imprisonment and visiting a Scottish prison with your child. You may also find “My Story” which explores the feelings and emotions children can have when they have a parent in prison.

If you have, or are working with, children who have a family member in prison, you may find the following videos can help to start a conversation.

My Diary” – Children 5 – 11

“My Visit” – all ages

It’s No Holiday” – Young People 11 +

If you or your children require more support, contact our Support and Information Helpline. We can provide direct support over the phone or arrange for direct 1:1 support. We also offer group based support for young people.

Information for professionals

If your job involves working with children or young people who may have a family member in prison then download our Guide for Professionals Working with Children and Young People.

Families Outside provides accredited training for professionals on the impact of imprisonment including a dedicated module on supporting children and young people. For more information visit our training pages.

Other sources of support

The following organisations also provide information and support for children and young people.

Family Stories

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