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Prisoners' Families Support Scheme

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Caritas Jersey has developed an innovative and effective approach to supporting the families of prisoner. This approach provides a range of opportunities and support measures to help the innocent; to help the families of prisoners.

When a person is imprisoned it is like a death in the family. Children struggle to understand what has heppened to their family. They are often told fanciful stories by the struggling sole parent or by well-meaning friends and relatives, In some extreme cases the children sometimes blame themselves, carrying the guilt and shame of the family on their young shoulders.

Sometimes these children are bullied or shamed at school.

Teachers are often kept in the dark about the circumstances and wonder why this once bright child has become sullen and backwards.

In an instant, the remaining partner is a 'single parent', at least for the term of the imprisonment. However, unlike most single parents, bereaved by death or divorce, he or she often feels that they cannot talk to anyone about this shameful and sudden change in their fortunes. 

Some people turn in on themselves, with all the problems that come from such insularity. 

The relaity is that the prisoner's famnily that jad previously been supported from an income derived from the incarcerated parent's work, perhaps supplemented by benefit payments, suddenly finds that its income has stopped. Financial problems pile up, particularly if the prisoner was the parent that managed the money before her or his imprisonement. If theprisoner had been entitled to social security benefits before imprisonemnet, but his or her family came to join him or her less than five years ago, that family loses everything. They are suddenly made beggars, having to relay on friends and food banks. 

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Caritas believes that the care and support offered to prisoner's families, while they are in prison and for the six months after their release, can do much to aid the rehabilitation of the prisoner.

We have created an integrated family support service where the families of prisoners serving a sentence in HM Prison La Moye receive bespoke assistance and guidance.

Our staff advocates for these families. The scheme provides a range of services draving on existing provision on the Islands and devising new services required to effectively support families. It is designed to complement the Prison's chaplaincy service.

                                                             OUR TEAM

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GRACA RAMOS  

Supporting prisoner’s families has helped me to see things in a different perspective and put myself in others' shoes. It is so important to listen and be there for others. 

Working with families  has always been a rewarding experience; every day is spent listening to new storie an responding best I can to people's emotions and life experiences.

I have worked for Brighter Futures supporting families since 2010 and started with Caritas in May 2017. I have a degree in French and Portuguese, am a qualified teacher and a trainee counsellor." 

 

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NAOMI WEST 

“I am passionate about working with people in a way that creates lasting

positive change. I never stop learning from, and being amazed by families I have the privilege to work with!''

As for my background? I worked for Brighter Futures supporting families for six years. I am also an accredited psychotherapist registered with UKCP. This entailed six years of training and included a Masters Degree.

Alongside working for this inn ovative project with Caritas, I continue to run a private psychotherapy clinic in St Helier (www.naomi-west.com).

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