Each year in the UK there are 150,000 children with a parent in prison*. Fathers Inside is a course about parenting skills, specifically helping prisoners to engage in their children’s education while in prison. One example is the question of getting children interested in books. Buying a book for a child is a natural impulse for most parents, but to a prisoner it can be an alien concept. Fathers Inside assumes nothing, and instead gets students to consider whether giving their child a book is a good thing and, if so, what sort of book is suitable. As a consequence, prisoners come to see how they can defend their child’s right to education. The course also makes them reflect on how they themselves learn (in a way that takes care not to patronise them).
This is an intensive 75-hour course which uses story telling and drama techniques to engage and motivate learners of mixed ability. Over 800 prisoners and staff from 12 establishments helped to create it in collaboration with Safe Ground and the OLSU.
* Source: annual report 2005 for Action for Prisoners’ Families
Family Man provides a complete package (free of charge to prisons) that includes lesson plans, student workbooks, an award-winning video, and also recruitment materials. It caters for all teachers – from those new to prison education to teachers with many years of experience. The course has been designed to contribute to a range of Key Performance Targets.
NOCN Progression Qualifications
Developing Parenting Skills, Level 1
Unit Code HF/1/2Q/003, Accreditation Unit Number J/102/9932
Developing Group & Teamwork Communication Skills
Level 2 Unit code AF4/2/22/007 Accreditation Unit Number R/103/0114
Summary of benefits
- Graduate eligibility for three awards
- Immediate results
- Credibility with prisoners, prison staff, and teachers
- Helps achieve Key Performance Targets
- Promotes parenting and key skills education
- Provides access to further education
- Promotes progression routes into offending behaviour programmes
- Prepares the participant for work
- Helps prevent institutionalisation and social exclusion