Dependent Children of Incarcerated Parents

The Dependent Children of Incarcerated Parents Workgroup, commissioned by the Pennsylvania State Roundtable was formally launched in September 2011 to develop recommendations about engagement of incarcerated parents in case planning, coordination and delivery of services, visitation, and hearing participation.

The Dependent Children of Incarcerated Parents Workgroup defines its purpose though the overarching principle that, under the law, “Incarcerated parents have the same rights, as those parents who are not incarcerated… to fully participate in the court process, to fully participate in case planning, to require the agency to make reasonable effort towards reunification, and to have visitation and contact with their children.” The Workgroup is chaired by the Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, Administrative Judge Family Division, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Workgroup members include a variety of respected experts representing multiple disciplines including: courts, child welfare, corrections, parole and the legal community. In addition, the Workgroup is fortunate to have both a youth and parent as part of its membership. Click here for a complete listing of Workgroup members.

Each year, the Workgroup provides a detailed report and recommendations to the State Roundtable. To view the Dependent Children of Incarcerated Parents Workgroup State Roundtable Annual Reportsclick here.

Workgroup Resources

Educational Video for Judges
and Legal Professionals
Protect Your Rights Doc. for
inmates with a child in foster care
Family Centered Case Management Resource

Other Resources

Child Resources for
Caregivers and Family
Sesame Street: Little Children
Big Challenges Incarceration
State Incarceration and Foster
Care Experiences Survey Results
Action Packet for
Children’s Roundtables

Other helpful links:

PA Department of Corrections

PA Board of Probation and Parole

U.S. Government Accountability Office Report on Foster Care Children with Incarcerated Parents

2011 PA Joint State Government Commission’s Report “The Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children: Needs and Responsive Services”