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Relating to Parents Behind Bars

Recognising that families face unique challenges when a parent is incarcerated, Singapore Children's Society Talks and Workshops Programmes Centre ran a three-month family programme called Project Relate, aimed at healing and strengthening family ties.

The 10-week programme, held from April to June this year, included weekly group sessions on parenting for parents in prison, and monthly family sessions for children and their caregivers.

Inmates explored topics such as love languages, parenting styles, communication, and seeking forgiveness. Their children and caregivers shared personal experiences and challenges, and learnt new skills to cope with them.

The programme ended with a two-hour open visit for the parents, children and their caregivers, allowing them to spend time together and share what they had each learnt.

Sixteen incarcerated parents, 29 children and 17 caregivers participated in this run.

“Project Relate has taught me the right way of parenting my children, especially when my husband is not around. After completing the sessions, I have become aware that I am not the only one going through this hardship,” said one of the participants, a mother of two children aged six and seven.

Project Relate, which aims to foster the relationship between parents who are incarcerated and their children, as well as between the incarcerated parents and the children’s caregivers, is organised with the cooperation of the Singapore Prison Service.

 

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