Family Links

What is Family Links?

Family Links is an independent service we offer to the families of people in prison. We provide both practical and emotional support to help families cope with what can be a lonely and difficult experience, especially for children.

We have been supporting families in this way since 1987 and work with approximately 1,500 families a year across Northern Ireland. The objectives of Family Links are to: reduce the risk of re-offending by contributing to effective resettlement after custody; contribute to the diversion of children and young people from offending behaviour; ameliorate the impact of imprisonment on families through holistic support services; promote desistance; and contribute to the safer custody agenda by helping to maintain good mental health in prison.

The project receives funding from the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the Health and Social Care Board and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

What does Family Links offer?

Family LinksFamily Links provides a range of practical and emotional advice and support. Family Links staff contact each family within 24 hours of receiving a referral from their relative in prison. If a family member wants to take up the offer, they’ll be sent an information pack about the project. The team can provide information about:

  • Visiting the prison
  • Contacting their relative
  • Transport to the prison
  • Benefits and welfare
  • Managing money
  • Engaging with school
  • Accessing other services

In the most recent survey of the Family Links service, 98% of users were satisfied with the overall service they received from Family Links. All of the people surveyed found Family Links staff to be friendly, helpful and reliable. 

How can I access this service?

People in prison can make a referral by talking to the Family Links project worker in the prison.

For more information, please contact us.