Caregivers of children with incarcerated parents matter! Research has shown that they play a critical role in children’s lives.
When fathers are incarcerated, more than 90% of children live with their mothers. When mothers are incarcerated, children’s grandparents are the most common caregivers. Many caregivers face challenges in their roles, including economic hardship, parenting stress, and lack of support. How they care for children and interact with them can make all the difference for children, especially when children are young!
In my research, I have found that when caregivers of children with incarcerated parents interact with them in positive, sensitive, and supportive ways, children are more likely to develop secure attachments. Children with incarcerated parents are also more likely to exhibit good cognitive and language skills when their home environments are safe and academically stimulating.