Prison as an obstacle?
In the mail that day, the coordinator received a request for FGC. Another case of a young child with one parent in prison and the other struggling with a difficult life. The goal of the meeting was clear. How to provide care for little Adam within the family? His older siblings have experienced institutional care. This is not the scenario anyone in the family or professionals wanted for Adam. The circle of people on his mother’s side was very limited. And daddy has been jailed repeatedly and for a long time. The coordinator was clear. She could not leave out sources of support from Dad’s side. The usual practice – written contact with the imprisoned person, was not an option. This is because it is very lengthy and cannot substitute for personal contact. It was time to change the usual practice, the coordinator was clear. She picked up the phone and very boldly and confidently communicated the possibility of a personal visit to father to get his contact details and to arrange the possibility of an online contact at FGC. It was Adam’s wish to see his father at least through the screen. In the end, the coordinator left with several contacts of relatives and a promise from the prison social worker to submit a request for Adam’s father’s release for 2 days so that he could attend the meeting in person. And the result? Adam did indeed meet his father in person at his FGC, it was a tremendous experience for all. The application for custody of Adam was made by his father’s sister, and the court approved it. Feedback from the prison social worker reassured the coordinator that her action made a lot of sense: „I am so glad that the family group conference was successful and will help Adam. It’s a shift for dad in his situation and in his relationship with his son. I have forwarded the photos you sent me of the meeting to him.” This conference has set a precedent for others like it.
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