Resolution 2005.2 The Children of Mothers in Prison

October 26, 2013

Submitted by: New Brunswick Provincial Council

Whereas, Each year, at least 25,000 children in Canada have a mother in prison and these children become the secondary victims of crime; and

Whereas, These children are among the most vulnerable in communities, often experiencing residential disruption, school changes, and separation from siblings; and

Whereas, Research has shown that many children with a mother in prison are at risk of criminal behaviour and eventual incarceration themselves; and

Whereas, The negative influences may be minimized by using proactive programs to support children; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, encourage provincial councils to urge their provincial/territorial child welfare agencies to develop proactive programs to address the negative factors associated with having a mother in prison; and be, it further

Resolved, That the national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, encourage provincial councils to request that these proactive programs include training key professional groups; provide developmentally sensitive assistance to children; ensure children have safe placements with nurturing ca re givers; and encourage meaningful contact between children and mothers; and, be it further

Resolved, That the national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, encourage provincial councils to request that these be programs developed for the mothers to help them to avoid re-involvement with the justice system.

 Requested Members’ Action:

• write letters to your provincial/territorial ministers of community and social services encouraging the development of proactive programs that address the negative factors associated with having a mother in prison
• find out about possible volunteer opportunities to assist in the creation/implementation/ evaluation of said programs
• check out opportunities within your school system to volunteer; become an ?adoptable aunt, grandmother, big sister? and sit with children and read with them, share your special craft talents, share your cultural heritage during multi-cultural curriculum programs, act as an after school or evening homework tutor in a local school, or perhaps your council could ask a class to offer to teach them how to use the computer. Spend time with the children and help them prepare a special letter for their mother and encourage the children to share what they are doing so that they and their mother will feel connected.
• invite a guest speaker to your meeting to educate members