By age 18, one in fourteen American children has had a parent incarcerated. Although children from all backgrounds experience parental incarceration, racial and ethnic minority groups and those living in poverty are disproportionately affected. Parental incarceration is an adverse childhood experience that can negatively affect health and well-being over the life course. However, resilient children of incarcerated parents can flourish despite profound adversity. Pediatric providers should create safe, inclusive medical homes that foster sensitive disclosures and discussions about parental incarceration. If pediatric providers identify parental incarceration, they should promote foundational relationships and family resilience (including relationships with incarcerated parents when appropriate) and consider referrals to mental health specialists and specialized programs for children of incarcerated parents. Pediatric providers are also uniquely positioned to advocate for partnerships and policies that support children of incarcerated parents.

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