Pillars provides support programmes to children who have a parent in prison, their caregivers and family and whanau.
Pillars has a range of services available which also link with other services in the community.
This programme is the heart of our work.
Our team of social workers provide help and support so the family or whanau can cope with all the challenges they face when someone in the family goes to prison.
We provide the required level of support to the families over a period which can range from three to 12 months.
This support is free, confidential and non-judgemental.
Families are helped to find their way through the complicated justice system and Government departments like Corrections, Housing NZ or Oranga Tamariki. They can also be helped to find accommodation and learn parenting and budgeting skills.
Mentoring for Children
This programme works alongside the Family Wraparound service to match children in the families with volunteer mentors.
A child with a parent in prison can be helped by having a mentor. The mentors provide support through meeting regularly with the child for fun and developmental activities aimed at building strong relationships and a positive future by providing consistency and stability in their lives at a time when they desperately need it.
Mentors are screened and trained before embarking on the relationship with the child and are provided with ongoing support.
Family Pathway Centres – Christchurch and Invercargill Prisons
These family friendly spaces in prisons allow families to regularly use the Family Pathway Centres and interact in a more natural way.
The child friendly environment helps strengthen the bonds between the child and their father. This programme is run with the support of the Department of Corrections.
WAF Programme Pilot
In collaboration with Emerge Aotearoa in Auckland and Hamilton, Pillars is providing mental health services for whanau who have a family member in prison. The Emerge Aotearoa health professionals work directly with the family member in prison or on community probation and Pillars is supporting up to 50 whanau in Hamilton and South Auckland.
Pillars Family Start Plus
In collaboration with Anglican Family Care in Dunedin, Pillars is providing a the ‘Family Start Plus’ programme for Oranga Tamariki. We have created a programme to help parents work together on the growth and health of their baby.
The programme works with fathers in the Otago Corrections Facility or on Community Probation. Both parents learn parenting skills within the whanau centre at the facility along with supporting mothers at home.
Invisible Sentence Training
This training is provided by Pillars nationally to all professionals where their work brings them into contact with the children of prisoners and their families. It provides a range of strategies and resources to help support these children.
This training package is available to various stakeholders involved with children of prisoners.
The next training is scheduled for July in Christchurch.
A Bill of Rights
1. I have the right to be kept safe and informed at the time of my parent’s arrest
2. I have the right to be heard when decisions are made about me
3. I have the right to be considered when decisions are made about my parent
4. I have the right to be well cared for in my parent’s absence
5. I have the right to speak with, see and touch my parent
6. I have the right to support as I struggle with my parent’s imprisonment
7. I have the right not to be judged, blamed or labelled because of my parent’s imprisonment I have the right to a lifelong relationship with my parent