Social Policy lecturer's work showcased in BBC Children in Need documentaryFriday 18 November 2016
The work done by Dr Lorna Brookes (Lecturer in Social Policy) and charity PSS to support the children of prisoners was the subject of a BBC Children in Need documentary this week.
The ground breaking Children in Need Special, Prison, My Parents & Me showed what it was like to be a prisoner’s child, and gave children often lost in the system a chance to tell their own stories.
The documentary followed the work of Dr Lorna Brookes at Person Shaped Support (PSS) as she led peer support groups for children whose parents are in prison. It also showed Dr Brookes supporting a child on a prison visit to see her father.
Nearly 10,000 children visit a parent in prison every week, and the PSS group is the only one in the UK to offer such a peer support model. Dr Brookes also appeared on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio Merseyside to discuss the work of PSS, the challenges faced by the children, and to call for more support and resources to help the children of prisoners.
Dr Brookes said: "I am utterly thrilled with the overwhelming amount of positive feedback I have had about the documentary. Most people have said it really 'made them think' and ultimately that's all I ever wanted; for people to see this through the eyes of the children. Referrals for support are now coming in thick and fast so lets just hope commissioners invest in this valuable work."
Liverpool Hope University’s Department of Social Work, Care and Justice has a strong partnership with Person Shaped Support (PSS), one of the largest and oldest voluntary sector organisations in Merseyside.
PSS have a link worker (Rose Devereaux) who is based in the department three days a week, and Dr Brookes has recently joined the department. PSS provide placements for social work students and volunteering and placement opportunities for students on our other degree programmes. PSS practitioners regularly come in to classes to talk to students about their projects and how they address a range of social, health and welfare issues in the field.