To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support for children of people in prison.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of support given by local authorities for children who have a parent in prison.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the support given by local authority social services departments to children who have a parent in prison.
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) sets out local areas’ responsibilities to provide support and services. It highlights dependent children of imprisoned parents as a cohort which practitioners should be particularly aware of and provide appropriate needs-based advice and support where needed. Ofsted is responsible for assessing the performance of children’s social care services delivered by local authorities.
Our ambition is for every family to receive the right support, at the right time. In ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, the department outlined the strategy for whole system reform, including family help, which will provide effective and intensive support to any family facing significant challenges.
Prison Mother and Baby Units Admission Boards must be in receipt of a Children’s Services assessment in order to facilitate a Board. Every assessment by a social worker should reflect children’s needs within their family and community context, which would include taking account of a parent being in prison. These children’s circumstances vary considerably and therefore local agencies are best placed to determine what support is needed whether early help, statutory social care services, or support for other needs such as mental health.