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To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations they have conducted in preparation for their strategy on female offenders to ensure that the criminal justice system creates an environment which promotes the reunification of imprisoned mothers with their children; and what assessment they have made of the impact, both short and long term, of such imprisonment on children living in care.
We are developing the Female Offender Strategy in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. We issued a Call for Evidence in March 2017 and regularly consult with key stakeholders through our Advisory Board on Female Offenders, which is chaired by the Minister with responsibility for female offenders. The Minister has met with a number of organisations to discuss a wide range of issues pertinent to female offenders, including the imprisonment of mothers and the impact on their children.
The Department for Education has not made any formal assessment of the impact of parental imprisonment in children living in care, but the Government has funded a contract worth over £1.4m for Barnardo’s to operate the i-HOP service – an England wide one-stop information service for all professionals who come into contact with the children and families of offenders – to share evidence on practice and advise commissioners and practitioners on the options available to support the families of offenders.