Accessing Online Support

by Children Heard and Seen in Southend-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Accessing Online Support

£400

raised so far

+ est. £97.50 Gift Aid

4

supporters

We are seeking funding to provide a family impacted by parental imprisonment with internet access so they may access online support.

by Children Heard and Seen in Southend-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Extra funding will fund one to one support with a trained practitioner for Jake and Kyle, allowing them to process their feelings in a safe space and develop the tools to manage complex emotions.


Children Heard and Seen supports children and families with a parent in prison. We offer 1-1 support with trained staff, peer support groups, online activities for children, and more to help fight stigma and social isolation. We are currently supporting 235 children with a parent in prison in the UK. During lockdown, we introduced a range of online support so that families could stay connected during the pandemic and fight isolation. This online offering now forms an essential arm of our support, allowing us to work with children across the country.

We are seeking funding to provide internet access for one family living in SouthEnd on Sea, so that they may access online support and connect with other families. Jake (9) and Kyle (12) are currently being cared for by their grandparents as their mother is serving a custodial sentence in prison. The family have been provided with a second-hand laptop by Children Heard and Seen, but are unable to afford the internet access required to access our online support. These boys are at a crucial developmental stage, and it is essential that they receive appropriate support for them to process their situation and give them the tools they need to thrive.

Online group sessions combat feelings of shame by showing children that they are not alone. By speaking with other young people, children are able to share coping strategies and manage complex emotions surrounding their parent’s imprisonment. This improves the emotional wellbeing of children who attend, allowing them to maximise their own potential in other areas. Feedback from families who have attended group sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. One parent described our range of sessions as being “all really positive for different reasons, I like the fact you cater for everyone's needs,” and another stating that “All that we have attended have been fantastic."

In addition to these groups, providing internet access for Jake and Kyle would allow them to benefit from one to one support with trained staff. Separation from a parent as a result of imprisonment can be a difficult and confusing time for young people. These one to one sessions would allow them to discuss any difficulties in a safe and confidential environment with an experienced professional, away from the potential stress of a group setting. Last year, we introduced a new workbook filled with guided activities that could be completed in these sessions. Exercises cover each stage of the custodial sentence and help a child understand crime, imprisonment and how their parents offending doesn't mean that they have to follow the same path. The final exercise is one of self-reflection, where a child considers everything they have learned. This is designed to boost self-confidence and give children the tools to reach their maximum potential. 

Please support this project so that these young boys can access online support, allowing them to meet other children with similar experiences and receive the essential support that they need. Funding would provide the family with an internet dongle, allowing them to access online support for 24 months.

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