Families Outside — Who We Are

Families Outside is the only national charity in Scotland that works solely to support the families of people affected by imprisonment.  Our purpose is to improve outcomes for children and families affected by imprisonment so they can live healthy, active lives free from stigma and impediment.

Why Are We Here?

Imprisonment can be a traumatic experience for families, and its impact is often significant and enduring. This can include:

  • Risk to housing;
  • Financial pressures;
  • Problems in caring for children and the impact on the 27,000 children who lose a parent to imprisonment each year;
  • Anxiety, distress and health problems;
  • Rejection, stigma, and victimisation by neighbours and the community.

Families affected by imprisonment face a process of grief and readjustment throughout the course of arrest, trial, imprisonment and release. They often have difficulty getting the information and support they need to make them feel in control during periods of crisis and stress.

How Do We Help?

Families Outside supports children and families affected by imprisonment through:

  • Families Outside Support & Information Helpline
  • Family Support Workers providing direct support to children and families throughout Scotland
  • Bespoke training and awareness-raising
  • Development of policy and practice
  • Campaigning and research
  • Coordination of all existing and new visitors’ centres at prison establishments across Scotland

Click on the booklet to find out more about us

How are we funded?

Families Outside receives its funding from a number of different sources.  These include Government, trusts, research income, general donations and conference fees.  Recent years have seen a move away from heavy reliance on Government funding towards support from private charitable trusts.  However, although this is a healthy development, Families Outside still remains reliant on financial support from the Government in order to achieve its organisational objectives.

Families Outside Strategic Plan

A copy of Families Outside’s strategic and business plan is now available to download. Please click here to view the document.

Comments and concerns

Families Outside acknowledges that you may have a comment or concern about the
work we carry out.  The comment or concern may be about:

  • a decision made by Families Outside;
  • services provided by Families Outside;
  • conduct of representatives of Families Outside.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of our work, please let us know by post, email or telephone 0131 557 9800.

We will try to resolve the matter informally within 3 working days.  If this is not possible we will inform you of the reason for this and advise that you are welcome to take matters further.  A full copy of our formal complaints procedure is available upon request.