Advertisement

The Interface of Child Welfare and Parental Criminal Justice Involvement: Policy and Practice Implications for the Children of Incarcerated Parents

  • Benjamin de Haan
  • Joseph A. Mienko
  • J. Mark EddyEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

There is a significant interplay between the adult corrections system and the child welfare system in the USA through the families involved in both systems. Perspectives on the interaction between these two systems and the implications of this interaction for children with incarcerated parents are provided by three authors who have collective experience in administration, practice, and research in both systems. Issues related to policies and practices in both child welfare and corrections are discussed, including monitoring parental incarceration, interagency communication and collaboration, parent–child visits, and the termination of parental rights. Recommendations are made for future research, policy, and practice. New approaches within child welfare and corrections are needed that are in the best interests of the child, his or her family, and society at large.

Keywords

Child welfare system Child protective services Department of Corrections Termination of parental rights Adoption Foster care AFCARS ASFA ACF Oregon Washington State Visits Visitation Parent sentencing alternative Family and offender sentencing alternative Strength in families Policy Practice Research 

References

  1. AFCARS (2017). Adoption and foster care analysis and reporting system preliminary FY 2016 estimates as of October 20, 2017. Washington, DC: US DHHS Children’s Bureau. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport24.pdf.
  2. Aguair, C. M., & Leavell, S. (2018). A statewide parenting alternative sentencing program: Description and preliminary outcomes. In M. S. Harris & J. M. Eddy (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents: Challenges and promise (pp. 78–93). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Beckerman, A. (1994). Mothers in prison: Meeting the prerequisite conditions for permanency planning. Social Work, 39(1), 9–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Benbow, A. E., & Sturmer, S. (2016). Stereotype-based judgements of child welfare issues in cases of parent criminality. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47, 267–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Green Book. (2016). Chapter 11: Foster care. Washington, DC: Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Representatives. Retrieved from https://greenbook-waysandmeans.house.gov/2016-green-book/chapter-11-childwelfare.
  6. Courtney, M. E., & Hook, J. L. (2012). Timing of exits to legal permanency from out-of-home care: The importance of systems and implications for assessing institutional accountability. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(12), 2263–2272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dallaire, D., & Wilson, L. C. (2010). The relation of exposure to parental criminal activity, arrest, and sentencing to children’s maladjustment. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(4), 404–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis, I. P., Landsverk, J., Newton, R., & Ganger, W. (1996). Parental visiting and foster care reunification. Children and Youth Services Review, 18(4–5), 363–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eddy, J. M., Kjellstrand, J. M., Harris, M., House-Higgins, C., Goff, D., & McElravy, T. (2018). Development of a multimodal, reentry-focused parenting intervention for fathers releasing from state prison. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  10. Eddy, J. M., & Poehlmann, J. (2010). Children of incarcerated parents: A handbook for researchers and practitioners. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
  11. Eddy, B. A., Powell, M. J., Szubka, M. H., McCool, M. L., & Kuntz, S. (2001). Challenges in research with incarcerated parents and importance in violence prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 20(1), 56–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ehrensaft, M., Khashu, A., Ross, T., & Wamsley, M. (2003). Patterns of criminal conviction and incarceration among mothers of children in foster care in New York City. New York, NY: Vera Institute of Justice and Administration for Children’s Services.Google Scholar
  13. Ehrle, J., & Geen R. (2002). Kin and non kin foster care: Findings from a national survey. Children and Youth Services Review, 24(1, 2), 15–35.Google Scholar
  14. Genty, P. M. (2012). Moving beyond generalizations and stereotypes to develop individualized approaches for working with families affected by parental incarceration. Family Court Review, 50(1), 36–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glaze, L. E., & Maruschak, L. M. (2008). Parents in prison and their minor children (Special Report No. NCJ 222984). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  16. Gleeson, J. (2012). What works in kinship care. In P. A. Curtis & G. Alexander (Eds.) What works in child welfare (pp. 192–216). Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.Google Scholar
  17. Hairston, C. F. (2003). Prisoners and their families: Parenting issues during incarceration. In J. Travis & M. Waul (Eds.), Prisoners once removed: The impact of incarceration and reentry on children, families, and communities (pp. 259–284). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
  18. Halperin, R., & Harris, J. L. (2004). Parental rights of incarcerated mothers with children in foster care: A policy vacuum. Feminist Studies, 30(2), 339–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harnhill, S., Petit, M., & Woodruff, K. (1998). State agency survey on children with incarcerated parents. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.Google Scholar
  20. Hartley, E. K. (1984). Government leadership to protect children from foster care “drift”. Child Abuse & Neglect, 8(3), 337–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Howing, P. T., Kohn, S., Gaudin, J. M., Kurtz, P. D., et al. (1992). Current research issues in child welfare. Social Work Research & Abstracts, 28(1), 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. International Association of Chiefs of Police. (2014). Safeguarding children of arrested parents. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  23. Johnson, E. I., & Waldfogel, J. (2002). Parental incarceration: Recent trends and implications for child welfare. Social Service Review, 76(3), 460–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kaeble, D., & Glaze, L. (2016). Correctional populations in the United States, 2015 (NCJ250374). Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  25. Luke, K. P. (2002). Mitigating the ill effects of maternal incarceration on women in prison and their children. Child Welfare, 81(6), 929–948.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Nieto, M. (2002). In danger of falling through the cracks: Children of arrested parents. Sacramento, CA, California State Library California Research Bureau.Google Scholar
  27. Norman, J. A. (1995). Children of prisoners in foster care. In K. Gabel & D. Johnston (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents (pp. 124–134). New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  28. Pfaff, J. (2017). Locked in: The true causes of mass incarceration and how to achieve real reform. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  29. Oregon Department of Corrections. (2000). Quick facts. Salem, OR: Oregon Department of Corrections.Google Scholar
  30. Oregon Department of Health and Human Services. (2009). Children in foster care in Oregon (Unpublished raw data).Google Scholar
  31. O’Donnel, J. M. (1995). Casework practice with fathers in kinship foster care (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Illinois, Chicago.Google Scholar
  32. Phillips, S. D., & Dettlaff, A. J. (2009). More than parents in prison: The broader overlap between the criminal justice and child welfare systems. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 3(1), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pridmore, W., Levy, M. H., & McArthur, M. (2017). Slipping through the cracks: Examining the realities of a child-friendly prison system. Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 226–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Seymour, C. (1998). Children with parents in prison: Child welfare policy, program, and practice issues. Child Welfare League of America, 77(5), 469–493.Google Scholar
  35. Seymour, C., & Hairston, C. F. (2001). Children with parents in prison: Child welfare policy, program & and practice issues. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  36. Shaw, Bright, & Sharpe (2015). Child welfare outcomes for youth in care as a result of parental death or parental incarceration. Child Abuse & Neglect, 42, 112–120.Google Scholar
  37. Smith, B., & Elstein, S. G. (1994). Children on hold: Improving the response to children whose parents are arrested and incarcerated. Washington DC: American Bar Association, Center for Children and the Law.Google Scholar
  38. Sykes, B., & Pettit, B. (2018). Severe deprivation and system inclusion among children of incarcerated parents in the United States after the Great Recession. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 1(2), 108–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Travis, J., & Waul, M. (2003). Prisoners once removed. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  40. US Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2008). State court sentencing of convicted felons. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/stssent.htm.
  41. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. (2008). Briefing for the children and families of incarcerated parents advisory committee of the planning, performance and accountability administration. Olympia, WA: State of Washington.Google Scholar
  42. Western, B., & Wildeman, C. (2009). The Black family and mass incarceration. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 621, 221–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Women’s Prison Association. (2003). Partnerships between corrections and child welfare: Collaboration for change (Part Two). Brooklyn, NY: Women’s Prison Association.Google Scholar
  44. Zietz, D. (1963). Child welfare services in a women’s correctional institution. Child Welfare, XLII,(4), 185–190.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin de Haan
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Mienko
    • 1
  • J. Mark Eddy
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Family Translational Research Group, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, College of DentistryNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations