Families Outside is an Edinburgh-based charity that exists to support the families of people involved in the criminal justice system.
Having helped to fund a pilot project in 2012, we are pleased to continue our partnership by providing funding towards in-prison CPD sessions for teachers which take them on a physical and emotional journey through the prison so that they have an insight into the issues affecting children of prisoners and an awareness of how they can provide support.
This funding not only benefits teachers (“This is the best CPD course I have ever been on; I now understand how to help children affected by imprisonment – something I had never even thought about before.”), it also helps the children they work with and support (“I’m so glad my teacher knows now. I know that I am not the only one.”).
An unexpected outcome of these sessions has been the impact on prison staff (“This has changed the way I see families. It’s not their fault that someone is in prison.”). In the month of May (2014) alone, Families Outside took over 180 teachers into prisons across Scotland, and demand for these courses continues to exceed capacity.
It’s exciting to see something grow from an individual idea, through a pilot project to become established as a valuable resource for teachers and for families affected by imprisonment. The ripple effects of this project have meant that it has had a much wider impact than anticipated, and we are keen to see it develop further.