The incarceration of a father can have a significant impact on the emotional development of his children, with many children experiencing dissociation, anxiety, loss, and anger. Factors that influence the child's response include the circumstances of the father's arrest, how the child hears about the arrest, and the mother's level of distress. This book describes the effects of imprisonment on fathers, their children, and the mothers of their children and explains how social workers can support family relationships in this difficult situation. The role of family relationships in the rehabilitation of men in prison also is discussed. Methods for facilitating father-child contact and providing formal and informal support systems are identified. The book also reviews strategies for changing policies to strengthen families, such as education and counseling services while the father is in prison and after his release; flexible sentences that permit fathers to live with their families during the week; increased opportunities for phone calls; and extended prison visits. Numerous references.
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