SCOPE - Supporting Children of Prisoners

What is SCOPE?

The project will help for children and young people who have a family member in prison and for their families.  It will support children to achieve the three key outcomes of:

  1. Reduced social isolation;
  2. Increased resilience to deal with challenges and difficulties (associated with the imprisonment and beyond); and
  3. Raising aspirations, in any area of life, but likely to be of particular relevance to educational attainment and reducing the child’s vulnerability to becoming involved with antisocial/criminal behaviour.

What does SCOPE offer?

Specifically, the project will identify families of prisoners living in Greater Belfast and then work alongside children and/or young people within families, to help, for example with:

  • Maintaining the relationship and improving communication with the loved one in prison;
  • Giving children/young people the confidence to integrate into their communities, to learn new skills and to deal with difficulties such as bullying or community intimidation
  • Accessing support services, primarily through building referral links with members of Belfast’s Family Support Hubs and other voluntary and statutory support agencies;
  • Offering the family whatever support may be necessary to help them to deal with the practical and emotional difficulties the imprisonment has created or entrenched, resulting in better outcomes for children (including mental health and educational outcomes); improved financial capability/access to financial support for the family and better prospects for effective resettlement of the prisoner upon release.