Federal Government, Sesame Workshop Partner to Serve Children of Incarcerated Parents

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A man and his son on a basketball court

For the nearly two million children living apart from an incarcerated parent, every day can bring challenges beyond missing a loved one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to face other adverse childhood experiences such as witnessing violence or being exposed to drug and alcohol abuse than their peers.

In order to improve the outcomes of these children, the federal government has teamed up with Sesame Workshop to provide materials that teach better coping skills and increase access to resources that can lessen the trauma of parental incarceration.

The Children of Incarcerated Parents Federal Working Group, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, developed a toolkit for child welfare agencies, federal prisons and residential reentry centers to address issues faced by incarcerated parents. The toolkit (PDF, 2707KB) includes:

  • Answers to questions frequently asked by social workers and prison and residential reentry center staff
  • Definitions of terms used by different agencies
  • Timelines for important events that affect parents and children
  • Contact information for state child welfare agencies
  • Additional resources for parents and professionals

Sesame Workshop’s newest initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration provides multimedia tools in English and Spanish. These resources include materials tailored for parents and caregivers, as well as children with an incarcerated parent. Access tip sheets, videos, apps and more on Sesame Street’s website.

You can also learn more about the interagency group through this informative fact sheet, or a recent Administration for Children and Families blog highlighting the efforts of 12 community leaders.

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