Find alternatives to street gang culture
Children turn to gangs when their personal and social lives are unsatisfying or distressing. The solution? Find fun, fulfilling things for your child to do and get support in your community.
Develop positive alternatives
Find out about after school and weekend activities your child can take part in and enjoy. If none are available, get creative. Can parents organize clubs or sports teams? Can the school offer its facilities for extra-curricular programs? Can older kids tutor or mentor younger ones? Make sure you involve your child in the brainstorming process.
Talk with other parents
By befriending other children's parents, you'll find out how they feel about gangs and youth violence. Together you create support systems and exchange tips to help spot problems before they happen.
Work with police and community agencies
Report suspicious activities and set up a Neighbourhood Watch.
Create programs to counter youth involvement in street gangs
Beyond the police, many neighbourhood groups within your community can help you, and other concerned parents, develop anti-gang strategies. Get in touch with local priests or ministers, family counselors, school principles and coaches, drug abuse prevention groups, youth agencies and community centres.
Power in numbers
Studies show that early intervention is key to preventing street gang membership. As a parent, you can play a critical role in creating a gang-free environment. By banding together with other parents in your community, you can lobby to:
- Help schools develop a variety of extracurricular programs for youth;
- Raise awareness about street gangs through youth workshops, public seminars and community newspaper articles; and,
- Liaise with schools, local organizations and police officers to establish community-based awareness strategies for street gangs.