Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents Toolkit

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents Toolkit

The arrest of a parent can have a significant traumatic impact on children, including shock, immense fear, anxiety, or anger towards the arresting officers. The IACP provides resources for law enforcement to mitigate trauma experienced by children who have parents that are involved in the criminal justice system.

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents Model Policy 

This publication presents the wide range of challenges that law enforcement officers face surrounding the arrest of parents and the corresponding impact on children under their supervision. The Model Policy identifies policies and procedures that law enforcement can implement to help mitigate the potential trauma to children during the arrest of a parent, whether or not they are home at the time.  Download the PDF or Word Document now!

Roll Call Training Video

This short video (16:42 minutes) provides an introduction and overview of the issue and discusses the scope of the problem and the challenges for responding officers. It outlines implementation at the agency and officer levels and includes pre-arrest, arrest, booking, documentation and follow-up to ensure children of arrested parents are safeguarded. It includes interviews with law enforcement leaders, police officers, mental health practitioners, and children of arrested parents.

Watch here.

Classroom Training Resources

15-minute Police Executive Briefing

1.5 hour Line Officer Training

Online Training

This 1.5 hour, self-paced, interactive, online training is designed to educate front-line officers in best practices for conducting arrests of parents, both when children are present and when they are not. The information outlines procedures for ensuring children's safety and well-being throughout the parental arrest process. Learn more or register now!

Webinar Series

Register to access any of these webinars now

  • Protecting Children of Arrested Parents: Using a Trauma-Informed Approach: An in-depth look at the traumatic effects of parental arrest on children, and provided best practice recommendations and strategies for law enforcement to  prevent or mitigate trauma to children during and after the arrest of a parent. 
  • Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents during Investigative and Tactical Operations: Panelists discuss the potential risks to children of arrested parents during tactical and investigative operations, and provided strategies and best practice recommendations for law enforcement to mitigate these risks.
  • Collaborating with Community Partners to Safeguard Children of Arrested Parents: Highlights strategies for law enforcement to collaborate with child welfare services and other community partners to ensure the best outcomes for children of arrested parents. 
  • Developing a Policy to Protect Children of Arrested Parents: Provides guidance on the planning and implementation process of a police departmental policy to protect children at the time of parental arrest.
  • Preparing to Launch: Q & A on Implementing Parental Arrest Policies to Safeguard Children:  A mid-sized agency Chief of Police shares his experience in developing and implementing a parental arrest. Resources are provided to assist law enforcement agencies in developing and implementing a policy in their agency. 
  • Parental Arrest Policies and Protecting Children: Training Your Department: Provides training guidance for police departments on parental arrest policies that safeguard children.

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