HM Prison Perth: Family Fun Club including Peep

“Really can’t describe how good it’s been to spend time with my family in this learning environment. Having this time has made me feel like a dad, as we can do fun family stuff together.”

Background (from the practitioners):

The project was piloted by Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) Parenting and Family Learning Team, Fife College and the Scottish Prison Service in 2015. The feedback from the families and Family Contact Officers was very positive. We were delivering two 6-week blocks per year of family learning activities within the prison's learning centre, targeting Perth and Kinross families. After the programme's evaluation it became evident there was a larger need than we could support. Therefore we looked at what local partners could be involved in the delivery of the programme that would enhance the delivery frequency and impact for families. Since 2017 PKC has led a partnership of 4 local authorities (themselves, Dundee, Angus and Fife), the Scottish Prison Service, Fife College and third sector organisations, to deliver a rolling programme of family learning in HMP Perth. This has enabled some of the most disadvantaged families to improve family bonding and parenting skills.

Peep project overview:

Over the last two years we have included 4 blocks of Peep in HMP Perth's family learning delivery schedule, which have targeted different ages of pre-school families. During these sessions, staff support families to take part in the Peep programme including singing, stories and activities that support their child’s development. All families make two keepsake books, one which can be kept by Dad, and one that can be taken home. The Peep staff develop positive relationships with families, and signpost them to support and family learning activities in their local communities.

Staffing: Each block is supported by two staff from the local authorities, at least one is Peep-trained. The sessions are also supported by staff from the prison's learning centre, which is managed by Fife College.  

Feedback from families:

HMP Perth - dad and baby playing“It’s made kids be able to get closer to their dad and put that spring back in their steps. I’d like to thank all the staff for letting us be part of it.”

“These bonding sessions have been absolutely brilliant for the prisoners, partners and kids.  We've all really enjoyed them. We have really enjoyed making stuff, decorating stuff and keeping a book of what they have done.”

“It was great having some quality family time, we enjoyed when we met other families and 1:1 family time.”    

“Really can’t describe how good it’s been to spend time with my family in this learning environment. Having this time has made me feel like a dad, as we can do fun family stuff together.”

“Benefits of this group has been truly great as my son has more time to spend with his daddy and he even got to give him his first bath.”

Feedback from staff:

“This partnership assists in my role as family support coordinator for Tayside, including encouraging families to engage in family learning, and being able to feed back to the group directly from families their experiences and how it has benefitted them.” (Families Outside)

“The work of the partnership is a great development which is unlike other prisons in Scotland, working together to feed into the Child and Family agenda.” (HMP Perth)