Family support, when mothers are behind bars
Over several years, This Life Cambodia has developed a Family Support Project that builds on the strengths of families to increase resilience, maintain stability and enhance connectedness. The Family Support Project features as part of the overall This Life Beyond Bars program, currently delivered in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces in Cambodia. The Family Support Project takes an evidence-based holistic approach, with an over arching case management element and is administered through five primary project activities, which provide targeted support in the areas of basic/emergency needs, education, income generation, visitation and health.
When a parent is imprisoned, the dynamics of families change. The remaining parent faces additional pressure to both earn an income and care for their children emotionally. The families that This Life Cambodia’s Family Support Project works with are extremely vulnerable, and these families are less resilient in the face of this increased stress. Children with a caregiver in prison are likely to drop out of school, and some may face stigma within their communities. The impact of this increased family stress ranges from emotional distance between children and their parents, to actual family separation in more serious cases.
This Life Cambodia’s Family Support Project aims to increase the resilience and connectedness of families with a parent in prison. The project provides support that reduces family stress (financial and emotional) and increases opportunities for family connectedness. These activities include parent in prison visitation, providing economic support and in turn supporting children going to school, and supporting the family unit to stay together, where appropriate.