Entering prison while pregnant
Within 24 hours of admission women will be seen by medical staff from the South Australian Prison Health Service (SAPHS). At this time women will be able to find out what health services are available to them and to begin to plan for their time in prison
Staff will discuss the prisoner's pregnancy support needs, if relevant.
SAPHS and DCS will work with the prisoner to develop a birth plan. In some circumstances the Department for Child Protection will also be involved.
Birth Plans are individualised as every case is different.
The purpose of these plans is to maximise bonding opportunities, contact and include the involvement of family where appropriate.
The birth plan will include details on:
- who can visit the prisoner at the hospital
- arrangements for care of the child following birth, and
- contact with the newborn following birth if it is approved.
The safety and wellbeing of children always guides the decision making process. The development of the birth plan is an important opportunity for the women to be involved, to get support and if assessed as eligible, to influence the decisions about the child's future care.
The woman will be under escort while in hospital for the birth and remain at all times under the authority of DCS.
A social worker will also be made available to help plan and assist with the birth plan and solve issues with special access visits, care and placement of children, and to support you make contact with other agencies such as Centrelink or Housing SA.