'Hidden Sentence' training at HMP Hewell12 May 2018 By Sam Setchell
HMP Hewell’s YMCA Rainbow Project in Partnership with Mothers Union is offering free ‘Hidden Sentence Training’ looking at the effect of prison sentences on children.
Children who are affected by having a family member in prison are often anxious about their loved ones and arrive at the prison bewildered and overwhelmed. Specialist Play workers allay any fears children may have regarding the visit/search procedures. Children find it difficult to speak to anyone about their innermost feelings surrounding their father’s imprisonment for fear of upsetting their mother/carer. They may have witnessed the arrest and feel frightened, possibly harbouring feelings of guilt and isolation or suffering from the stigma of having a parent in prison. Experienced play workers supervise play areas during visits and can offer a listening ear to children visiting their fathers or other male role models here at Hewell. Within the Visitor’s Centre, Family Support Workers meet and greet families visiting and offer them support depending on their needs.
Hidden Sentence training addresses all of these issues and gives the attendees an insight into the life of each family member affected by prison, seeing life from their perspective.
Working in partnership with Mothers Union, the training aims to bridge the gap between prisoners in HMP Hewell and their children and families in the community and offer a more cohesive approach to families affected by imprisonment.
It is notoriously difficult to identify children especially within schools/settings unless the family have brought the incarceration to their attention. Hidden Sentence helps you to be aware of children who may be affected and traumatised by their male role model being brought into prison and illustrates how you can help to make their visit less traumatic.
The Rainbow Project is offering a ‘Hidden Sentence’* day’s training course at HMP Hewell on Wednesday 11 July, 9am - 3.30 pm. A buffet lunch is included but please let us know of any dietary requirements.
*Hidden Sentence is a well - known training course developed by Action for Prisoners’ and Offenders’ Families for professionals whose work brings them in contact with prisoners’ families, including children’s centre workers, troubled families workers, school staff, play workers, health visitors, and family intervention teams. This course gives a clear overview of the issues facing prisoners’ families and provides a range of strategies and resources to help you support them