Support if you have a relative in prison
Helplines and advice
Prisoners’ Families Helpline
Prisoners’ Families Helpline provides information on what happens in all aspects on imprisonment from arrest, detention to release, they can provide information on:
- what happens on arrest
- visiting a prison
- how to tell the children and living with separation
- preparing for release
Family Matters Court Desk
Family Matters by Thames Valley Partnership can support you if someone in your family is sent to prison.
Their volunteers can:
- listen to you
- help with booking a prison visit
- give details of local prisons
- help you talk to your housing provider, benefits agency or bank
- give details of local services
Help with the cost of prison visits
If you’re on certain benefits and visit a family member, partner or someone who does not get other visitors, you might be able to get help paying for:
- travel to the prison
- overnight accommodation
Grandparent looking after their grandchild?
Help and information if your child gets sent to prison and you care for your grandchild.
Child Benefit follows the child instead of the parent so if you are a grandparent you can make a claim as soon as you begin caring for your grandchild.
Contact the Child Benefit Office to make a claim or find out more.
Custody and guardianship of a grandchild
Custody or guardianship of a grandchild is a complex area and may not be necessary. Contact your local Citizens Advice Service or a legal representative for more information.
Time-Matters UK support children aged 5 to 18 years who have a parent in prison.
They provide group support and individual support, both face to face and online, and welcome children from anywhere in the UK who might wish to join them.
Children Heard and Seen is a charity that supports children and families impacted by parental imprisonment. They offer :
- One to one support with specialised staff for children to explore and understand their emotions surrounding their family member in prison
- Support for parents and carers around communicating with children, including ways to tell your child that their parent is in prison
- Activity groups for children to explore feelings and meet others in similar circumstances
- Volunteer mentoring to help children process emotions with a neutral person outside of the family home
- Parenting support
- Online support and online activities for children
- Activity days including our annual Summer Residential