BOWS (Building on Women’s Strengths) Program
The majority of women in prison were sole parents of dependent children before they went to prison. Sisters Inside has workers in Brisbane and workers in Townsville dedicated to working with mothers in prison and post-release, helping them to maintain their relationship with their children and ultimately reunify their family.
The BOWS (Building on Women’s Strengths) Program targets women in the lead-up to their release from prison and provides intensive support for women and their children in rebuilding their lives after the trauma of prison. Whilst mum is in prison, our workers help arrange contact with their children (e.g. through bringing the children to the prison for visits, or negotiating with child safety authorities). They also support mothers to ensure that their children’s practical and emotional needs will be met as they plan for release. Following release, our BOWS workers continue to support mothers for as long as they want it. This includes running camps for mothers and children, and other activities to help women and their children to reconnect and build on their strengths as mother and child. Download a program brochure or email the program in Brisbane or Townsville.
Child and Parenting Support (CaPS)
Children are often traumatised by the process of arrest and/or the enforced separation when mum went to prison: as a result, many develop difficult behaviours and are harder to parent following their mother’s release from prison. Some children are taken into care when their mother goes to prison, and their mum needs to learn about dealing with the child protection system and non-residential parenting. Our Child and Parenting Support (CaPS) Worker provides intensive support to a small number of women wanting help to improve their parenting skills and/or respond more effectively to their children. Our CaPS Worker also runs parenting education and peer support groups (with child care provided). Email the program in Brisbane.