ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Start a Support Group for Parents with Adult Children in Prison

Updated on October 1, 2014
A support group can be a safe haven for parents.
A support group can be a safe haven for parents. | Source

Tips for Starting a Support Group for Parents with Kids in Prison

Anger. Hurt. Frustration. Anxiety. Emptiness. Regret. If you've experienced an adult child going to prison, you know these feelings intimately. A support group for parents with kids in prison can make a tremendous difference. Moms and Dads can learn coping skills, find unconditional help, and even vent about their situations.

Some groups might provide guest speakers, such as a former prisoner who has changed his/her life. Many areas, even large cities, do not have support groups for parents with kids in prison. However, if you live in a city of a least 150,000 residents, the group could thrive. These tips below might help you start your own support group.

Carefully decide if this is for you.

Before you begin the group, carefully ensure that this is a responsibility you're ready for. Be sure that you do have the time and energy to make this commitment. If you are indecisive, remember you can always start one later.


Decide on how often you would like the group to meet.

Once you've make the decision to begin a group, consider how often you would like the group to meet. Ideally it is best to meet at least once a month. You could also have two meetings a month. You could offer one formal gathering, and one casual meeting, such as a Mom's Night Out at a paint-your-own pottery place.

Research possible meeting locations.

Next, decide on places to meet. It is best to not meet in member's homes. (It might be okay after you've gotten to know each other well.)

Some places to consider are coffee shops with a private room, community center rooms, library rooms (you can usually reserve them), and church classrooms. Church meeting facilities are great, however, some parents may wonder if it is only for members at a local church, and might not feel comfortable going.

Set ground rules.

It is necessary to have some group rules in place before starting. These can help the group be a nice, welcoming resource for parents. Some rules to include are "Keep discussions confidential.", "Do not interrupt others", and "Try your best to offer non-judgmental support."

Set up an online meeting site for the group.

Next, set up an online portal for your group. The best website for support groups is here. However, it does charge a small fee. You could always begin the group there, then move to a free website such as and An online site is essential for group organization, and notification of meetings.

Decide on topics to discuss at each meeting.

At each gathering, it is ideal to have a set topic. Some suggestions are "How to encourage your child while he/she is incarcerated", and "How to cope with the holidays." You could also leave some time for members to ask advice for anything they might be experiencing. No member should ever be forced to talk, and if they don't want to share details of their situation, allow them privacy.

Ask members for suggestions.

On your message board, ask group members for advice. Ask them what they would like to happen in the group.


Now it's time to find group members. This requires lots of patience and work. For ideas on where to advertise the group, please read "Where to Advertise a Support Group for Parents of Kids in Prison."

Find guest speakers.

If you want, try to find guest speakers for future meetings. A local psychologist might be willing to speak on stress-management skills, etc. Some church ministers would be willing to speak for free. You might even consider having a laughter yoga session. (Search on yahoo for "laughter yoga" to find a specialist.)

Ask for advice on the prison talk forum

If you need more advice on starting the group, ask for help on the prison talk forums here. There is a section for parents with kids in prison.

Pass the responsibility to another group member if leading the group becomes too overwhelming.

If leading the group becomes too stressful for you, pass the responsibility to another group member. Remember, you need to take care of yourself first before you can encourage others.

A support group for parents with kids in prison will require lots of dedication and energy. However, the benefits are worth it. It is truly a service to others. It could be the light for someone in a dark and cloudy world.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)