Free Classes for Parents of Youth Begin in October
The Arcata Police Department’s Juvenile Diversion Department and the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Redwood Coast Parent Project will host nationally-recognized Parent Project classes for parents of at-risk youth on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning October 18 at the McKinleyville High School Library. This 11-week class series is geared to help parents improve adolescent children’s school attendance and performance, reduce family conflict, curb drug and alcohol use, prevent runaways, stop violent behavior and develop strong, in-home prevention and intervention strategies for youth gang involvement.
The Parent Project curriculum was developed by police professionals looking for concrete answers to parents dealing with highly destructive adolescent behavior. The program is in its 28th year and is the largest court-mandated juvenile diversion program in the country. The McKinleyville classes were made possible by Humboldt County voter-approved Measure Z, the Northern Humboldt Unified School District, Humboldt County Office of Education, and community business sponsors Ramone’s Bakery & Café, Humboldt Crabs Baseball, Pasta Luego, Cher-Ae Heights Casino, the Madaket Cruises, Pacific Outfitters and Mill Creek Cinema. Classes will be facilitated by the Arcata Police Department.
The Parent Project provides parents with practical tools to help them foster stronger connections with their adolescents. There were 21 parent graduates from the Parent Project class series that was offered in the spring of this year. Many parents reported dramatic improvements in their children’s behavior during and after they implemented the lessons learned at these classes. “I’ve been using the program, it really helps!” says one Parent Project graduate and grandmother of a 12 -year-old former at-risk youth. “It really helps when you feel like there is nowhere and no one to turn to,” said one mother who was reunited with her 15-year-old runaway daughter.
These results are common among Parent Project class attendees. One Southern California study found that Parent Project participants felt more competent to handle their children’s disrespectful attitudes, inappropriate clothing, self-destructive behavior such as self-mutilation and sexual behaviors after just 8 weeks of classes. One parent said, “We do not have any of those problems anymore…I’ve never seen such change.” Another parent stated, “Lack of communication and arguing have definitely decreased.” Youths participating in this study felt they had more parental support, particularly from their mothers, and their school achievement also increased after 8 weeks of Parent Project participation.
There will be a one-time $35 fee for Parent Project class materials. Scholarships are available and childcare, dinner and coffee will be provided at each session. Classes run from October 18, 2017, to January 17, 2018. To register and for more information, call 825-2538 or visit parentproject.com “parent classes.”