INSIDE PARENTS. The forgotten road to reintegration. Lyn Shirley Lucy Hayne Kristen Ridgway. Inside Parents. A Partnership Between Uniting Care West and Serco Research Consultancy Edith Cowan University Funded By Perpetual Trustees Federal Attorney Generals Department.
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INSIDE PARENTS The forgotten road to reintegration Lyn Shirley Lucy Hayne Kristen Ridgway
Inside Parents • A Partnership Between • UnitingCare West and Serco • Research Consultancy • Edith Cowan University • Funded By • Perpetual Trustees • Federal Attorney Generals Department
Inside Parents Aims to • Address community safety and crime prevention issues by reducing recidivism and breaking the intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviour • Provide a throughcare model of reintegration support for fathers leaving prison to successfully reunify with their families or to maintain connection and contact with their children
Program Outcomes • Development of a parenting program appropriate to the specific needs of fathers in prison • Increased capacity of fathers in prison to parent appropriately • Reported improvement in family functioning and connections to their children • Reduced recidivism of participants • Broad based community education about the program and the target group.
Economic and Social Costs of Offending • Recurrent costs per prisoner per day $155 (SCRCSSP, 2003) • Daily expenditure of $3.4m • 60% of imprisoned adults have served a previous prison term (ABS, 2007) • Children of imprisoned parents are five times more likely to serve time in prison (Katz, 1998, Simmons, 2000) • 20% of Aboriginal children have more than one significant family member in prison (Children of Prisoners Project, 2005) • 60% to 85% of prisoners are estimated to be fathers (SA, 2005) • Violent offenders are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers (Bower & Alessandrini, 2001)
Reintegration • Describes a broader aim than simply a reduction in recidivism • Focuses on the potential for offenders to become contributing members of society rather than merely ex offenders who are no longer criminally active Inside Parents • Aims to target one of the main evidence based factors that influence successful reintegration: a strong family support system ( Selber et al, 2000, Andrews & Bonta, 2003)
Parenting from Prison • Imprisonment can be highly destructive to family relationships • Window of opportunity to reflect on family relationships and improve capacity to parent ( Healy et al, 2000)
Parenting from Prison Standard parenting programs do not address unique issues faced by fathers in prison Need to address: • Limited communication opportunities • Strong negative feelings about themselves as parents • Lower education levels • Lack of support and mentoring opportunities • Poor relationships with partners and child’s caregivers ( Loper & Tuerk, 2006)
The Two Intervention ProgramsPilot Phase Group Triple P Newpin Fathers Program A 16-session group intervention that aims to work experientially and collaboratively on key values of respect, support, empathy, equality and self-determination It assists fathers to provide a secure base for their children. The program involves dual components of training parenting skills as well as working with emotional process in attachment. Psychodynamic and interpersonal approach. (Mondy & Mondy, 2008) • An Australian 8-session group intervention that aims to improve parenting skills in high risk individuals. • It teaches parent skills through ensuring a safe and engaging, positive learning environment, using assertive discipline, having realistic expectations, and taking care of oneself as a parent. • Cognitive-behavioral approach. (Sanders et al., 2002)
Confounding Variables • n = 8 for each intervention • Confounded by facilitator (different facilitators associated with Triple P and Newpin) • Unmatched at pretreatment (some evidence that the Newpin group was more depressed)
Measures • Being a Parent Scale (BaPS) (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978) • Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) • Positivity And Negativity Affect Schedule (PANAS) • Criminal Sentiments Scale-Modified (Sigmourd, 1997)
Differences in Programs • Parent Sense of Competency – both subscales of Satisfaction and Efficacy showed effect sizes of 0.9 and 0.7, respectively in favour of Newpin • Evidence that participants in the Newpin program reported less depression after the intervention (DASS) • Most measures showed stability from pre- to post-intervention for WaitList Control, these fathers did get more anxious over time.
Program Measures Estimated effect sizes are larger consistently for Newpin compared with Triple P for most measures
Intervention PhaseMeasures • Hostile Interpretations Questionnaire (Simourd & Mamuza, 2000) • Child Abuse Potential Inventory - Brief (Ondersma, Chaffin, Mullins & LeBreton, 2006) • Parent Sense of Competency Scale (Johnson & Mash, 1989) • Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer,2004)
Intervention Phase The intervention phase evaluation results based on pre and post group tests and participant focus groups for three groups held show: • Significant improvements in factors that are known to reduce recidivism and target criminogenic need, such as antisocial attitudes and beliefs, tolerance for law violations and criminal peers , impulse control and attribution of hostility
Intervention Phase • Significant improvements in parenting competency and satisfaction • Significant improvements in reducing the potential for child abuse • Significant improvements in emotional regulation, clarity and awareness • Consistent ratings by participants as the best treatment program that they had done
What brings you to Inside Parents? • I wanted to be a better father. I’ve spent most of the last six years in jail and my biggest concern was the effect its having on my kids. When I do get out I want to know how to rebuild my relationships and undo the damage that I’ve done. • To build a better relationship with my kids. To understand what they are going through, their future needs and what they need from me. • I wanted to turn my life around. I had been drinking a lot when I was at home. I didn’t take much notice of my son. My son missed out. He has always been well looked after but I didn’t spend much time playing with him and didn’t pay him enough attention. I came from a broken family and had a violent and neglectful upbringing and didn’t want to go down that path. I’ll endeavour to make sure that doesn’t happen to me and my family. It’s time for change.
What was the best thing for you about Inside Parents? • It made me realise I wasn’t the best father that I thought I was and that I wasn’t putting my children first. I’ve realised that I’d rather have my kids around than make big bucks a week selling drugs. It was good to be seen as a dad rather than a criminal. • It changed me entirely. I’d been looking for change. I’ve been in and out of jail for 15 years. The group put me in a place where I was happy to be me. I don’t remember when I last felt like that.. before I was 10 years old? .. 20 to 25 years ago maybe. The most important thing for me is that I can relate to my partner more, open up, let down the walls a bit, and say what I feel. I used to always look for the negative in what people said and was always wound up. I’m a lot calmer now. • I have become closer to the group members. There was one guy I knew because I was his drug dealer on the outside, but our relationship has changed because now, our common ground is being parents not the criminal element. There was another guy who was in the same circle but we never connected outside. I now see him as a family man and the whole stigma of the drug industry has been taken out of our circle.
Has Inside Parents helped you think differently about your life? • This is the best course I’ve done in prison. It teaches you to think about how your behaviour affects others. A lot of us don’t think about that. Before I did this course I was still going out to sell speed but now I realise my family deserves better than that. • My daughter said to me on a visit “Dad, I don’t want all the toys. I just want it like it is now.” At first it hurt me but it made me wake up. Now it makes me smile and fills me with joy. • I used to think I was the best dad going cos I had lots of money and used to buy him anything. But there’s a lot more to being a father : spending quality time with him, and being there for him at times like school sports and parent teacher nights and helping them with their homework • This course helped me tune into why I had all the baggage whereas previous courses only made me aware I had a problem. Its made me reflect on when I was a child and what brought me to where I am now and what effect its going to have on my kids
Inside Parents – The Program Inside Parents includes: • A voluntary twelve week parenting program (84 hours) • Core Values (Support, Empathy, Equality, Respect, Self-determination) • Therapeutic Support Group • Parenting • Ages and Stages of Child Development • Attachment • Behaviour Management Strategies • Communicating with children • Self Esteem of children • Emotional needs of children • Goal Setting • Parent/Child Relationship • Conflict Resolution • Family Relationships
Inside Parents - Eligibility Male prisoners are not eligible for the Inside Parents if they have: • Offended physically/sexually against children. • A Violent Restraining Order (VRO) against them. • Noted TOMS child protection concerns Male prisoners are eligible for the Inside Parents if they have: • Proven access to their children, and have history of contact with their children (Visits/Phone Calls/Mail Log). • An earliest eligibility date (EED) within three months of program completion
Inside Parents • Support and Advocacy for families/carers • Family Care Workers offer • Parenting support • Budgeting • Centrelink • Housing • Etc... • Specialised re-entry support is provided for family reunification and child contact once fathers leave prison.
Inside Parents Unique and innovative family contact opportunities in the prison. • Family Visits – are held on two occasions during each Inside Parents program. • During the first family visit program facilitators offer parenting support and assistance to the fathers. • During the final family visit the fathers cook their families a BBQ, and have the opportunity to relax and interact with their families.
Inside Parents • Toy Library – A toy/book library is provided during family visits. • Prior to the first and final family visits male participants are asked by program facilitators to consider appropriate toys/books for their child/ren’s age and stage of development, and are given an opportunity to interact with the toys during a play session prior to family visits. • During the Inside Parents program and play session’s male participants are provided with information on how to effectively interact with their child/ren (play and communication).
Inside Parents • Inside Parents fathers read stories to their children, which are recorded by a prison officer Mark Nicholls from Acacia. Once the children’s stories are recorded Mark enhances the recordings utilising digital equipment for sounds effects and music. • The CD of the recorded story and the book the father read from is sent to the child/ren. • ‘Dad’ writes a message to his child in the book, advising why he chose the book etc...
Collaborative Partnership Inside Parents was developed in partnership/collaboration with 3 key stakeholders; A research institute (Edith Cowan University), a Corporate Partner (Acacia Prison – Serco), and a Non-Government Organisation (UnitingCare West). • Increase the profile of each of the collaborating agencies in areas that they may not normally be able to access. • Able to provide a raft of services that one organisation could not possible provide.
Collaborative Partnership • Able to use existing communication systems. • Linking in with a university enables continual adaptation and contribution to the ongoing development and improvement of the program, that contributes to the limited evidence base in this area. • Shared professional development.
Collaborative Partnership • Clarifying roles and responsibilities between partners. • Establishing shared expectations. • Length of set up time. • Staffing. • Non-recurrent funding.
Inside Parents - Award • UnitingCare West’s Inside Parents program was the first external agency to ever be collaboratively nominated for a Serco Pulse Award. • The Serco Pulse Award is usually an award provided to internal Serco programs and recognises the outstanding efforts of staff members. • In 2009 Inside Parents won the Asia/Pacific regional Pulse award, in the category of Excellence in Innovation.
More Information UnitingCare West 16 Sunbury Road,Victoria Park WA 6100 GPO BOX B74PERTH WA 6838 Phone: 1300 663 298Fax: 1300 663 528 http://www.newpin.org.au/