• Importance of DOC Visitation – Hewko (2015) – Policy Report

This Incarcerated Parents Project policy report provides a  summary of social science literature and Washington statutory framework supporting the policy of encouraging child-incarcerated parent visitation at Washington’s Department of Corrections (DOC) prisons.

  • Instituting Contact Visits at King County’s Jails – Cunningham (2017) – Policy Report

This policy report was submitted in support of an educational briefing to the King County Council Law & Justice Committee asking that the county institute contact visits for children and their incarcerated parents. Published on May 9, 2017.

  • Visitation & Parenting Beyond Bars – Hewko and Knowles (2015) (PDF) — Presentation

This presentation outlines social science literature on the why child welfare social workers should support increased visitation between children and their incarcerated parents, the benefits of prison visits for child well-being, and better outcomes for children.  Includes photos of child-incarcerated parent visits at DOC.



  • Parent-Child Visiting Practices in Prisons and Jails: A Synthesis of Research and Practice – The Urban Institute (2017) – Research

This research report presents findings on what is known about the design, implementation, and effectiveness of parent-child visits, including eight structured interviews with research experts.

  • Impact of Continued Contact with Biological Parents – McWey, et al. (2010) – Research

Findings indicated that more frequent contact with the biological mother was marginally associated with lower levels depression and significantly associated with lower externalizing problem behaviors. The association with externalizing problem behavior was significant even after controlling for gender and exposure to violence. Further, differences with regard to gender were revealed. Specifically, girls had higher depression scores than boys even after controlling for exposure to violence. Results suggest that supporting frequent, consistent, visitation may impact the levels of depression and externalizing programs children in foster care exhibit.