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New website launches to support professionals working with children of offenders

Release Date: 23 Apr 2018

A Barnardo’s online knowledge hub to support professionals working with offenders’ children is launching with a new look and additional helpful information.

The new National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO), which replaces i-HOP, will continue to contain hundreds of resources, be updated with services, policy developments, events, training opportunities and practice models.

In addition, the new website will be more user-friendly and ensure that it represents all new prison family services. All prisons in England and Wales have commissioned new family and visit services which launched in October 2017. The new NICCO website will serve as the one place where details of all the new providers are listed.

NICCO will also include a new map function where users can either click on a prison to find out what support is available there, or search via geographical region to find out what community based support is available for families.

The website will support professionals working with the children and families of offenders such as teachers, social workers, family support workers, community health practitioners, prison officers, police and probation officers.

Barnardo’s runs programmes in several prisons that maintain and strengthen family relationships.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:

It’s estimated about 200,000 children have a parent in prison in England and Wales, three times the number of children in care. Children with a parent in prison are some of the most overlooked and isolated in the UK, and have disrupted childhoods that can ruin their life chances. They are the innocent victims of someone else’s crimes.”

Barnardo’s works with several prisons in England and Wales, running visit centres, family days and parenting programmes that strengthen family relationships and help prepare for the return home. We also work with schools and other services and to help re-integrate the offender back into the family on release.

The new user-friendly NICCO website will provide professionals with comprehensive up-to-date information to help them make a positive difference to children and families of offenders.

Richard Booty, Families Lead, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, said:

The new NICCO website provides a great opportunity for HMPPS to share high quality information about our family work and partnerships in prisons; as well as being part of a resource on families and children that is so useful to ourselves and our staff.

The site will now have three directories:

•Directory of Research (quality assessed research to inform practice, development and study)

•Directory of Resources (resources and guidance to support and inform work with children and families of offenders)

•Directory of Services (services to support children and families of offenders in the community and across the prison estate).

It will also provide details of Barnardo’s training programmes for professionals.

The new website can be visited at

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