Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Will Happen to Me by Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Howard Zehr

What Will Happen to Me?
What is life like for a child who has a parent in prison?

This book brings includes:
  • Photographic portraits of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words.
  • Reflections of several grandparents who are unexpectedly parenting children whose parents are incarcerated.
  • "Ten Questions Often Asked by Children."
  • "Dealing with Emotions" - - including grief and loss, shame and stigma, anger and isolation.
  • Resources for "Staying in Touch," "Finding Moments of Celebration," "Adjusting to a Parent's Return," "Self-Care for Family Caregivers," and "Suggestions for Third-Party Caregivers."
  • "The Children's Bill of Rights." along with thoughtful consideration about how to apply restorative justice and respect for relationships in these difficult situations.
My take:  The book presents photos of children and adult children of parents who have been in prison.  They are the children you see every day.  Nothing about them whispers that they are suffering from having a parent locked up.  But their stories are heart wrenching.  The secrets they carry and longing to be with their parent tears at the heartstrings.

The last section of the book includes help for the children dealing with parents in prison.    How to deal with the emotions, stigma, and how to help the young child deal with prison visits, etc.  

Excellent book for caregivers of children in this circumstance, social workers, school counselors.

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