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Child Impact Assessments

From June 2021 to December 2022, PRT Associate Sarah Beresford led a consultation project, funded by the Churchill Fellowship Activate Fund, looking at the use of a Child Impact Assessment for children with a primary carer (usually a mother) in the criminal justice system. The result of the consultation is “This is me”, a toolkit of resources to support the use of Child Impact Assessments.

What's the issue?

Several recent reports have highlighted the fact that children with a mother in the criminal justice system are particularly vulnerable, yet very few receive support. This project will explore whether Child Impact Assessments are a helpful tool in building children’s resilience to cope with the trauma, grief, and stigma that they often experience.

What is the Child Impact Assessment?

The Child Impact Assessment is a framework which aims to ensure children are listened to at every stage of their mother’s journey (arrest, court, imprisonment or community sentence, release) and that they are meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care and any support needs they may have. The accompanying notes aim to provide background information to those working with children who have a mother in the criminal justice system; increase awareness of the sensitivities involved; and offer suggestions of support children may need.

About the project

Following consultation with children who have experience of a mother in the criminal justice system, this project considered how Child Impact Assessments could be best used to ensure that children are sensitively recognised and appropriately supported.

Conducted through a series of conversations and roundtable discussion between June 2021 to September 2022, the feedback informed the development of the Child Impact Assessment and accompanying notes.

A toolkit of resources, which enables practitioners to pilot the use of Child Impact Assessments is available below.

Resources to support children with a mum in the criminal justice system

“This is Me”: A Child Impact Assessment toolkit

“This is me” is a call to action for a range of stakeholders. The actions have been inspired by children themselves. Most are deliverable with immediate effect, requiring nothing more than attitudinal change, creativity, and a vision for improving outcomes for children. The toolkit provides all of the resources needed to implement these actions.


View all
  • November 2022 Child Impact Assessment This Child Impact Assessment was co-created by Prison Reform Trust Associate and Churchill Fellow Sa... Child Impact Assessment
  • November 2022 Child Impact Assessment — accompanying notes These accompanying notes to the Child Impact Assessment are intended to assist those working with ch... Child Impact Assessment — accompanying notes

Child Impact Assessment Data Protection guidelines

Read the full Data Protection guidelines for the project.

Read the guidelines


For further information about this project, or to provide feedback on the Child Impact Assessment, the accompanying notes, or key questions listed above contact Sarah Beresford.

Email Sarah

Pictures with kind permission from Time-Matters UK