When someone is convicted of a crime, their family and friends may be affected emotionally, financially and practically. Whether it’s a partner, child, parent or friend anyone close to the individual may find themselves facing difficulties as well as trying to understand the complexities of the Criminal Justice System.

At Thames Valley Partnership our dedicated Family Matters Team focus on the provision of one-to-one, confidential, impartial support for people who are affected when someone is arrested, under investigation or sentenced for a offence.

Since 2021 the skills and experience of the Family Matters Case Workers’ have been channelled to help a unique group of families across the Thames Valley and West Mercia where a family member has been arrested for online sexual offences. We provide the individual with one to one, trauma informed support following the police visit. Support begins on the day of the arrest and continues for as long as it is needed, ensuring that the individuals are able to cope with the stress and inevitable disruption that follows. This support may include:-

• Practical advice such as what to do when all electronic devices have been removed or how to manage finances if a family’s income is reduced

• Information about Social Services, the Prison system and Probation Services

• Emotional support, for example, what to tell the children or an employer

• Help to manage relationships

• Access to other services

Family Matters provides the only service of this kind in the UK, recognising that the family needs support and help in a non-judgemental way.

Our assistance continues for individuals with a friend of family member sentenced to prison for any other type of crime. We are there at all points of the Criminal Justice System: arrest, released under investigation, remand, sentence, custody or a community sentence and release. We provide the same level of professional, impartial and confidential support regardless of when you start receiving our support.

Family Matters is funded by the National Lottery Community fund.

Family Matters is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and The Beatrice Laing Foundation

Contacting Family Matters

If you would like more information, please telephone 01844 487985 or email familymatters@thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk

Self referrals

We welcome self-referrals. Please ring or email us on the above contact details.

Agency referrals

If you are an agency referring on behalf of someone else you must have their permission before making the referral. Please send the referral via secure email referrals@familymattersproject.cjsm.net

We are currently delivering this innovative service in the Thames Valley and West Mercia areas, working with criminal justice agencies and others. We are working towards offering this service across the England and Wales.

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