We know hardly ANYTHING about these invisible children!

Invisible children are under-studied

invisiblechildrenNot only are the children invisible, but they carry around with them a set of built-in disadvantages.

Little is known about what happens to children and families when parents are arrested and jailed. The few studies that are available (and the anecdotal knowledge in organisations actively helping children of prisoners and their families) seem to indicate that children whose parents are incarcerated are more likely than other children to:

  • show developmental delays and gaps
  • do poorly in school
  • suffer emotional distress
  • develop substance use disorders
  • commit multiple serious delinquent acts
  • be incarcerated themselves during their lifetimes.

But for the most part, invisible children are ignored when their parents are arrested and incarcerated  by all of the divisions of the criminal justice and child-serving systems.

Little is known and even less is collected and recorded

(Walker, 2005 p. 3).


We would appreciate any comment or experience you would like to share about this. Even if it’s just a sentence!

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