This Life in Family
When a parent or juvenile is incarcerated for a small crime, it can result in the separation of families, the loss of educational opportunities for children and families falling further into poverty. I’m proud to be leading a dynamic team to help identify familial networks of support and community based care options for children while providing strong case management and advocacy for families. Ven Sam, This Life in Family Program Coordinator
When a person is convicted of a crime, the consequences don’t just affect that person, they affect a whole family and even a community. If they are imprisoned, this is a time when families often break apart, and many children end up being sent to live in so-called “orphanages” when they are not orphans at all. If children do stay at home, the loss of income and transport can lead to children falling out of the education system.
This Life In Families is designed to provide support at this crucial time of crisis. We provide expert case management to families dealing with these challenges, including support with education and assistance in finding new ways to earn money to keep the family from tumbling into extreme poverty. We also help with visits to prisons, keeping family bonds strong and alive so that when a prisoner is released they return to their family and community to contribute in the future, rather than escaping to a city and ending up in a cycle of criminality, which is all too common.
Through this work, this program provides support to families in their moment of need so that when the crisis passes they are stronger than they were before.
What is the aim of the program?
To support and preserve vulnerable families at risk of separation to safely remain together.
What activities do we run?
- We provide visitation and reintegration support to families with a primary caregiver or child family member detained in prison, with long-term family support including family visitation, income generation support and education scholarships.
- We provide holistic case management, emergency support and life skills workshops and training to juveniles and parents in prison.
- We identify familial networks of support and community based care options and establish familial networks and/or community-based care options for children in crisis.
- We advocate to uphold the rights of target groups and ensure duty bearer actions are in accordance with legislative frameworks.
- We collaborate with and strengthen key structures including sub-national committees, authorities and provincial networks such as the Commune Committee (CC), Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) and police and the CNP’s Commune Police Child Protection Focal Point (CPFP) Network.
- We conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation staff capacity building and professionalisation of case managers including provision of training.
- We conduct a scalability and replicability assessment, generate a program manual, and document lessons learned and best practice.
What are the program outcomes?
- Support and build the resilience and connectedness of families separated from a primary care giver in prisons in Cambodia.
- Prevent unnecessary child-family separation for those in conflict with the law.
- Implement, model and integrate into the community an early intervention response model for preserving families.
- Build the capacity of This Life to improve the sustainability of project outcomes and to expand the geographical coverage of the program.
- Individuals and families, including families who come into conflict with the law and victims of domestic violence, are assisted to advocate for their rights.
- Families have enhanced resilience and capacity to mitigate vulnerability and crisis.
- Families with a parent or caregiver serving a custodial sentence are able to support themselves while children remain in school.
- Increased number of children in family-based care and reduced number of children living in Residential Care Institutions and prison.
- District/Commune Committees and local authorities are aware of and act in accordance with legislative frameworks with a child protection, pro-family approach that promotes family-based care.
- Families capacity to raise their children in a nurturing environment is increased.
|To learn about our program for youth in prison, go to This Life Beyond Bars|
- 52 children with parents in prison receive scholarships and other support including parental visits
- 30 children were supported to remain in family care (and not enter orphanages)
- 23 primary caregivers were supported with income generation activities