Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 472-486

First online:

The Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children: An Emerging Need for Effective Interventions

  • Keva M. MillerAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Service, Fordham University Email author 

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The increasing number of children with incarcerated parents constitutes perhaps one of the largest at-risk populations in the United States. Short- and long-term effects of parental incarceration are difficult to quantify; however, the current literature indicates that this population is negatively responding to major shifts in family structure, and is vulnerable to economic stress and adverse interpersonal issues. Service providers are seeking appropriate intervention strategies to address the resultant issues of parental incarceration. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research on effective practice methods. This paper reviews the literature on the potential implications parental incarceration has on children, and discusses service providers’ concerted efforts to allay the consequences. Recommendations for appropriate data collection and identification of relevant gender, developmental, and cultural interventions are provided.


Children Parental Incarceration Intervention