Search the COPE Database:

Proposed Support for Children Impacted by Parental Imprisonment

Categories: Policy developments,

Location: ScotlandUnited Kingdom

In February 2015, Labour MSP Mary Fee launched a Bill to support children of prisoners. The legislation was to require a needs assessment to be carried out in relation to the children of a parent being sentenced by way of a Child and Family Impact Assessment. It was also to provide for additional learning support in schools. The Bill suggested that parental imprisonment should be one of the triggers for considering whether a child needs additional learning support as it can often be a pre-cursor to other issues negatively impacting a child that require support such as truancy, failing educational attainment, and behavioral problems.

The Bill did not have enough time to complete the process for it to be heard in Parliament in the 2015 September session, however, an amendment from Ms Fee to the (now) Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 places a duty on Scottish Ministers to request information from people entering prison about any dependent children to ensure support for these children is in place.

The Scottish government has also committed to revise the code of conduct for the Additional Support for Learning Act to designate children with an imprisoned parent as a group in need of support. This policy development is in part thanks to the lobbying efforts of Families Outside and Barnardo’s Scotland.

For more information:

Families Outside

13 Great King Street

Edinburgh EG3 6QW

Tel: 0131 557 9800


Barnardo’s Scotland

111 Oxgangs Road North


EH14 1ED
Tel: 0131 446 7000

Link to Draft Proposal:

Proposed Support for Children (Impact of Parental Imprisonment) (Scotland) Bill – Parliamentary Business : Scottish Parliament

No Description