Ormiston Families Breaking Barriers is a non-judgemental, early intervention service providing support for children and young people affected by the imprisonment of a close family member.
Through offering tailored one to one support (usually in school for 45 minute sessions, once a week for about 8 weeks), Breaking Barriers aims to reduce anxiety around prison, support emotional well-being and help to foster positive engagement with school.
We work in schools, family homes, or wherever a young person feels safe, to help them come to terms with the emotional trauma.
By providing a safe space (usually in school but can be elsewhere) for them to talk, play and express themselves, we enable children and young people to explore their feelings and break down some of the barriers which may prevent them from maintaining positive ties with their imprisoned family member or relative.
As well as helping children and young people cope with separation from a loved one, there is evidence that prisoners who maintain ties with their children are less likely to re-offend, and the children themselves are less likely to become involved in offending behaviour.
Our Breaking Barriers workers can also provide talks and presentations to teachers, social workers, police officers and other professionals, to help them understand the ‘hidden sentence’ which is often endured by children and young people with a parent or family member in prison.