Parenting from a Distance: Your Rights and Responsibilities
by Jan Walker
A valuable resource for incarcerated parents who are committed
to remaining involved with their children and who are willing
to accept the responsibilities associated with parenting from
a distance. (144 pp.)
1 Commitment and Challenge
Research shows that children of incarcerated parents suffer from
a variety of learning and attention disorders. They tend to ignore
homework assignments. Many of them develop substance abuse problems.
2 Rights and Responsibilities
Incarceration does not end your financial responsibility to your
children unless the court legally terminates your parental rights.
You can help pay child support costs by registering with the court
for minimum support status.
3 The Explanations
You have the right to choose what you want your children to know
about your separation. You have a responsibility to give them
that information as soon as reasonable.
4 The Daily Routine
Stay involved in your childrens daily routine by working
closely with the childrens primary caregivers.
5 Touching From a Distance
Communication is important to parents and children. Phone calls
keep voices alive. Letters answer questions.
Prison visiting requires planning and legal preparation. Minor
children need the consent of their non-incarcerated parent or
legal guardian. Consent may include notarized forms and certified
7 Holidays and Occasions
Focus on ways to help children feel special on their birthdays
and find joy on holidays.
8 The Systems
Incarceration involves legal and social services systems. Laws
affect child custody and guardianship. Legal guardianship can
be tailored to meet the childs needs.
9 Shared Parenting
Incarcerated parents who remain involved with their children are
also involved in shared parenting.
Taking parenting classes or relationships counseling may be as
important during reentry as AA and NA. For difficult reunions,
use a Contract for Forgiveness. Make family meetings part of your
reunion. Suggestions at the books end include an Affidavit
of Legal Guardianship, a Sample Letter to School, and a Sample
Letter to Caseworker.
Review Key here.