203: SPECIAL SESSION: NCFR OLSON GRANT ADDRESS - Enhanced Visits For Children and Families Affected by Parental Incarceration

Julie Poehlmann-Tynan; Pajarita Charles; Michael Massoglia; Margaret Kerr; Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth

10:00 AM
11:15 AM
Session #
Session Type
Special Session
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About the Session

A session in which the presenter(s) were invited who are all well-accomplished in their disciplines. 

Authors: Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, Ph.D., Dorothy A. O’Brien Prof. of Human Ecology; Pajarita Charles, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work; Michael Massoglia, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Romnes Faculty Fellow; Margaret Kerr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Human Development & Family Studies; all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Facilitator/Presider: Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., Purdue University

Separation from one’s parent because of incarceration has become an increasingly common experience for U.S. children, with one in 14 children experiencing a coresident parent leaving for prison or jail. Parental incarceration is associated with elevated risk for less optimal child development outcomes, yet few evidence-based interventions are available to mitigate this risk. Our research and practice experience underscores knowledge about intervention development and lessons learned in four areas: 1) use of visit coaching with jailed parents and caregivers; 2) application of video chat technology; 3) serving families holistically; and 4) developing family-focused services in jails. Our study highlights the value of integrating multiple perspectives, ensuring flexibility with families, combining technology with enhanced support strategies, and collaborating with community organizations and government agencies. The intervention approach used is particularly relevant for family life educators and other professionals who work with families involved in the criminal justice system as it does not require an advanced degree or extensive training to implement.


  • Describe an intervention designed by a transdisciplinary team focusing on opportunities for enhanced parent-child visits when a parent is incarcerated.
  • Present information about the rationale for the Enhanced Visits Model, including background on children with incarcerated parents and their families.
  • Analyze implementation challenges and lessons learned from our pilot feasibility study
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Conference Session