What will happen to me?
Jun 23, 2011
3 million children are estimated to have a parent in prison on any given day in the United States. These children share the pains of separation experienced by other children who are without regular contact with one or both parents. Added to this, however, are the special pains of having a parent or parents in prison: shame, guilt, questions, often trauma that crosses generations.
Millions of adults are involved in the care of these children. Some, like grandparents, may be the primary caregivers. Others such as teachers, social workers, mentors and school counselors are regularly involved. The issues raised by these children’s situations can be perplexing and overwhelming.
The project began as a way to give voice and visibility to these often-forgotten children who are so profoundly affected by policies that do not take their needs into account. Rather than speak for them, my colleague Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to speak for themselves. We also aimed to provide suggestions for caregivers responsible in some way for these children.