In 2014, COPE carried out a campaign with two goals. The first was awareness-raising of the general public, with an interactive web page and map where visitors could see what was planned in all participating countries. The second was both for fundraising purposes and to enhance awareness-raising among prison services across Europe. As part of this second objective, COPE called for donations to enable the network to send out copies of its new “good practice guide”, Children of Imprisoned Parents: European Perspectives on Good Practice (2014). For every 15 euros received, COPE sent a guide to a prison governor. The publication—featuring a range of initiatives, expertise and good practices—is designed for professionals, volunteers and decision-makers whose work impacts children with imprisoned parents. Seeking to promote, expand and inspire good practice and policy change for this group of children, the publication revolves around seven broad themes:

  • The legal framework: international and European conventions, national law, maintaining family ties and the best interests of the child
  • The impact of parental imprisonment on children
  • Parenting from prison: support for the imprisoned parent and the child-parent bond
  • Maintaining contact between children and their imprisoned parents
  • Mothers and young children living in prison
  • Training, tools and methodologies to help reduce the adverse effects of imprisonment on children
  • Advocacy for policy and practice change to support children with imprisoned parents

As part of the 2014 campaign and the generous donations of the public, COPE was able to send out 200 copies of “Children of Imprisoned Parents: European Perspectives on Good Practice” to prison governors across Europe.

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