Parents in Prison

Growing up with a parent in prison can be tough, and you may feel that you are alone with no one who understands your feelings.

If you are feeling that you miss your parents, confused or angry, lonely or worried then this is totally normal and there are people ready to support you.

Talk to someone

Talking to someone about how you are feeling is a good idea, it should be someone that you trust. This could be a:

• Parent, carer, or someone else in your family

• Friend’s parent or carer, or a neighbour

• Teacher, sports coach or a member of staff at your school

• Doctor, school nurse or a school counsellor

• Religious leader, for example, a priest, imam or rabbi.

Question mark

Sometimes, as a result of a parent going to prison, you may have to take on some responsibilities to help other members of your family. These might include looking after your siblings, juggling school work with visiting parents in prison, helping to look after your other parent and doing more chores around the house.

Your home life might be a bit tense and arguments or fights might occur as those who are left behind may feel stressed. If a parent is in prison, it may create money worries within the family that are left to cope. It’s really important to remember that it is not your fault that a parent has gone to prison.


Childline has worked with children and young people affected by having a parent/s in prison and this is Annie’s story.