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Brochure: When Your Parent Goes to Prison Adobe Acrobat

When a person becomes incarcerated, the family members are left to suffer silently, many times without support or understanding from their community.

The children in particular sometimes suffer the most as they may not understand reason for the separation from their parent and may not know how to express their feelings of loss.

These children are sometimes referred to as the forgotten children, the invisible children or the children left behind.

The children of inmates face not only the physical and emotional loss of a parent, but many other difficult trials. Most children face an economic loss to the family with one parent unable to help financially. Some children are moved or enter the foster care system. A majority of the children and family members are ostracized by their community if the incarceration of the parent is made public. Some families isolate from peers and neighbors as to not let the crime and punishment become public knowledge.

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