Don't punish the children

The childrens charity Banardo's reckon kids in Bristol are being made to suffer for crimes commited by their parents.

They say there's a lack of support in place for kids when one of their parents get locked up. Many are left confused, angry and living in financial hardship.

So Banardo's have just launched a scheme in Bristol to try and help families who find themselves with a parent in prison.

The 'Empowering Children of Offenders' (ECHO) scheme will work to make sure they claim all the benefits available to them to assist financial hardship and help tackle antisocial behaviour or mental health problems that often effect children in this situation.

Banardo's South West assistant Director Duncan Stanway said "We are not condoning the actions of criminals or forgetting the impact on those affected by their crimes, but we must not neglect the invisible victims as well - the innocent children left behind when a parent is imprisoned."

"On average, two children in a class of 30 will have experienced parental imprisonment and they will almost certainly have suffered isolation, depression and financial hardship, we have successfully managed other services at prisons across the region and we have the knowledge and experience to reach out to these families and make a positive difference to their lives."



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