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The Prevent Delinquency Project

These days, our lives are busier than ever. It’s difficult for families to find time to be together. Yet, never before has it been more important. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released a 2011 report stating that simply having dinner together as a family, five to seven times each week, substantially lowers your child’s risk of experimenting with drugs, including using tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.

Studies also cite that children, including teenagers, whose parents provide little or no emotional support or involvement in their lives, and fail to monitor the child’s activities, are at far greater risk to become bullies. It’s sobering to discover that 60 percent of boys who have been classified as bullies ages 12 to 15 have at least one criminal conviction by the time they reach age 24, according to the US Dept. of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Prevent Delinquency Project, founded in 2003 and run by dedicated volunteers, is based upon a single premise — that the majority of juvenile delinquency cases are preventable through proactive parenting techniques.

Even with the best intentions, many parents fail to adequately supervise and counsel their children, often because they aren’t fully aware of all the risks and threats their children face — until it is too late.

As much as we want to trust our children, we cannot place our trust in the unknown, that is, those who take advantage of and exploit our children. Gangs, drugs, violence, reckless sexual practices and predators are real and present dangers. It is up to parents not only to observe and intervene at the first sign of a problem, but also to create a loving, communicative environment where our children develop the self-confidence and strength to withstand such destructive enticements. As Ben Franklin sagely pointed out, it is far easier to prevent a problem than to cure it later on, once the behaviors have become established.

That’s where we, at the Prevent Delinquency Project, can help. From teaching parents how to be proactive and take a holistic approach to supervision that targets risk factors, to providing guidelines on how to effectively deal with children already exhibiting behavioral problems, our volunteers work with parent/teacher associations, community organizations, and individual parents who seek our assistance.

No child is unreachable.

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