In Germany we are proud of our social system yet there is still a group of children that is not seen, and their problems are rarely being addressed. Approximately 100,000 children in Germany have a parent in prison. We stand up for them. We are thriving to make a change for the children of imprisoned parents by helping them gain more visibility and by giving them a voice. We want to give them a fair chance in life to reach their full potential and to be able to feel proud of themselves.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child children have a right to maintain personal relationships with their parent if this is in the best interest of the child (article 9). Our projects aim to help children maintain and nurture this relationship and to make the most of it.

“Bindungsräume” – improving prison visitor rooms in Cologne Prison

Initiated by BAG-S, Bonn and in partnership with Alanus Hochschule, Alfter, we are creating new and more welcoming visitor rooms at prisons for child visits. This initiative is strongly supported by prison directors and staff as it addresses a well-known need to provide a setting where visiting families can meet in an aggression-free, sociable and child-friendly environment. Prison visits are not easy for family members and especially challenging for children who also feel the strain of difficulties within their families. If these visits are unpleasant and provide no space for privacy, children are less likely to visit. However bonding with their father and mother remains important for a child, especially while the parent is in prison as this also helps with re-integration once the parent is released from prison, and helps with the transition back into normal life. Maintaining these family bonds reduces the likelihood of the parents (and children) committing future crimes.

Students of Alanus Hochschule developed amazingly creative ideas to enhance the look and feel of the visitor rooms, to improve communication between prison staff, prisoners and visitors, and to raise public awareness on prison life, especially with regards to the impact on children.

This project has now been implemented during the second phase called "Inside meets Outside" and not only the rooms have become more child-friendly and colourful, but even the tram station outside has a more welcoming look now. More information here.

Reaching out to children of prisoners in Dusseldorf "Papa im Knast - Kind wird bestraft"

Through creative workshops formed in partnership with KRASS e.V., we will work with, and help, previously incarcerated fathers in reaching out to their children. More often than not, families are torn apart by the separation caused by parent imprisonment. The aims of these workshops are to help re-establish father-child relationships and to help with their bonding process.

KRASS e.V. also significantly supports the participatory projects, that are meant to include participation of incarcerated parents and their children. You can find further information here.

Policy Work & Cooperation

We are constantly reaching out to political parties and governmental offices to address the needs of these special children and to further improve policies that ensure the rights of a child under German federal and state law.

Morning Tears Deutschland e.V. is also an affiliate member of the “Children of Prisoners Europe” network and we support their campaigns.We believe that only through working together and exchanging experiences and examples of best practices, are we able to improve on the situation for children of prisoners in Europe and globally.

Support our work

Our work in Germany depends for 100% upon grants and donations. Your support matters and makes a difference in the life of the children. You can donate to this project directly via our German account at


Looking for other ways to make a difference or support us via your company? Please have a look here.

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