Ask Sam letter


To Sam

i dont know what to do

Sam I'm in year 9 I'm 13 I have been missing lots of school and my dad has recently got arrested and is now in jail I have been suffering from this i was wondering if their was a way I could see him but what my mum said I will never be able to see him for 20 years I will be 33 I hope you get this Sam.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be really difficult when your dad is in jail and you may not be able to see him. It’s hard to know whether this is a decision your mum has made as she feels this is best for you or if this is an official decision that might have been made by a judge and social workers. Sometimes a judge may decide it is in your best interests not to see your dad if they felt he was a risk to you. To find out more about who made this decision and why, talking to an adult you trust could help to see if there are steps you can take to see your dad while he is in jail. If a judge has not stopped you from seeing your dad, it is your right to continue to see him and this is something you should be supported to do. You can also ask a ChildLine counsellor to contact social services for you and this way you can find out more about seeing your dad.

Sometimes when a child is stopped from seeing their parent, some find it helpful to write letters to their parent to tell them about what has been happening in their life and how they have been feeling as a way to communicate with their parents. While you may not be able to pass these letters on straight away, it should be possible when you are able to see your dad again. If your dad is to remain in jail for 20 years, as long as there are no restrictions on visits you should be able to make the decision to see your dad when you become an adult. This is something you would have to check with the jail he is in.

I can hear there is a lot going on for you at the moment and it sounds like you are finding it hard to go to school. Attending school is important so if you are finding it hard to go, it may help to talk to the teachers to explain to them how you are feeling and see if there is any way they can support you to improve your attendance.

This is not something you have to go through alone, and you deserve support to cope with how this has left you feeling. Having a parent in prison, whether you are allowed to see them or not, will bring lots of changes which may feel difficult to cope with. ChildLine will always be here to support you so talking things through with a ChildLine counsellor may help you to talk honestly about your feelings. You may also find it helpful to talk to other young people who may have a parent in prison on our message boards.

Take care,

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