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Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment or Offending - Zoe McPhail

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Meet Zoe, Richa and Lindsay, CAPO (Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment or Offending) Champions for East Bristol Children's Centre.

A CAPO Champion is an identified point of contact who can offer support to children and their families who are affected by a parental or a family member’s imprisonment or offending. Our CAPO Champions are trained and have a good understanding of how important the need for support and encouragement is to these families and children.

Zoe shares her story on being a CAPO Champion:

"I really enjoy supporting the families with CAPO. It’s been lovely to see how much they have achieved over the past few months and how it’s made a difference to their lives. I’ve learnt a lot about this hidden community and how important it is that children in this situation have a voice and their views and opinions are really listened too. It’s amazing knowing that the support we provide has a big impact on the lives of those families.

As CAPO champions we offer support to families on a 1:1 basis. Whether this is being someone who they can talk to in a non-judgmental and safe environment, supporting how to tell the children their parent or family member has gone to prison, support with prison visits and systems or working alongside the probation team to re integrate the family.

It’s been a lovely experience working with the families I support, I’m incredibly proud of how much they’ve achieved and how strong they have been.

I’m hoping more families become aware of the CAPO service and more people have an understanding of how important it is that children are given opportunities and a voice so that they don’t feel forgotten about."

One of the families Zoe has been working with feeds back her experience of CAPO support.

"The CAPO support has been a very good and helpful service for me and my family. They have met all of my family’s needs and criteria and I always feel well supported.

It’s made a difference having Zoe to call anytime I need someone to talk to or if there has been an emergency which has been really comforting for me. I always have support and feel well supported with lots of things.

I had support with telling the children about their family member is in prison and with the family member coming out. It’s been good having someone to talk to who understands and being put in the right direction.

I don’t think I would have got the support I’m receiving if wasn’t for the children's centre and Zoe."

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