Children of Incarcerated Parents

Children impacted by parental incarcerated are clearly woven into the population served by the child welfare system and, given the current growth trends in the inmate population, the number of children in the child welfare system with an incarcerated parent or a parent on probation will continue to increase. The child welfare and criminal justice systems often work with the same families, yet in most jurisdictions, these systems have little official contact with each other. The resulting abyss between the systems creates a tremendous hardship on children, on caretakers, on families, and on workers in both systems. Lack of coordination is costly, inefficient, and damaging to the well-being of communities. Experience in a number of child welfare jurisdictions demonstrate however, that a lot can be done to improve practice which can help the well-being of a child in care with an incarcerated parent.

This webpage includes information produced by and for child welfare agencies working to improve services for children with incarcerated parents. Much of this information was collected from the work of the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (SFCIPP), a nationally recognized model formed in 2000 under the auspices of the Zellerbach Family Foundation. SFCIPP is a coalition of social service providers, representatives of government bodies, advocates, and others who work with, or are concerned about, children of incarcerated parents and their families. In addition, this webpage contains information collected from child welfare jurisdictions throughout the country working to better serve this population. For more information about this topic, please contact

Resources Produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Family to Family (Pacific Region)

Resources Produced for Youth, Parents, Caregivers and Child Welfare Agencies

Workshop and Conferences/Presentations and PowerPoints

Policy and Research

Resources and Related Organizations