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CHAMPION: Children whose mothers are involved in the criminal justice system in Dorset & Hampshire: developing health and social care outcome indicators

Chief Investigator

Professor Julie Parkes

Professor in Public Health

Head of School of Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education 

Faculty of Medicine

University of Southampton, South Academic Block,

Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road,

 

Dr Emma Plugge

Associate Professor in Public Health

School of Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Faculty of Medicine

University of Southampton,


Co-Investigators

Dr Donna Arrondelle, Research Fellow, University of Southampton

Dr Naomi Gadian, Public Health Specialist Registrar, University of Southampton

Donna Gipson, Director EP:IC Consultants Ltd, West Malling, Kent

Dr James Hall, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Southampton

Paula Harriott, Head of Prison Engagement, Prison Reform Trust

Professor Kathleen Kendall, Professorial Fellow of Sociology as Applied to Medicine, University of Southampton

Dr Sara Morgan, Associate Professor in Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Professor James Raftery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton,

Dr Lucy Wainwright, Director of Research, EP:IC Consultants Ltd, West Malling, Kent


Starts: 1st April 2023

Ends: 31st March 2026


Summary

In this study, we will identify important features of children’s health and wellbeing that are affected when their mother is sent to prison. For example, it might be their mental wellbeing or their behaviour. If we know what the important features are, then researchers and organisations providing services (such as the NHS) can monitor these for change; this is important to see how the child is but also to see if services are helping him or her.

In the past, researchers have not looked in depth at the health and wellbeing of these children. We want to look at all the studies conducted so far to see what areas of their health have been looked at and also to find out areas of their health where the evidence is lacking. We will also speak with adults who were children when their mother was imprisoned to hear their views about what health issues are important and what would have helped them at that time. We will also speak to children who are living with their mother in a prison alternative in the community to find out from them about their health and what has helped them in this particular place. Finally, we will speak with a range of professionals, from doctors to teachers, who work with children whose mother has been imprisoned. We will ask them to tell us about the aspects of these children’s health and wellbeing that they think are important and likely to be affected by the child’s mother going to prison.

When we have the information from published studies, from the children themselves and from the professionals, we will bring together a group of people with experience of their mother being imprisoned and also professionals. We will work with them to agree the most important features of children’s health and wellbeing that are affected when their mother is sent to prison. These ‘outcome measures’ are helpful to developing services for these children.

People with experience of their mother being imprisoned have helped design the project. They will also be important in spreading the word about the study. This will enable us to reach not just academic audiences and policy makers through publishing in journals or presenting at research conferences, but also people with lived experience and charities that work in this area. Informing a wide range of people will be important in ensuring that the findings from this study are acted on.

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