Looking at demographics, most of the troubled adolescents in America come from single parent homes. Parallel to this, according to the National Adolescent Health Information Center, one third of all adolescents in the US live in single parent homes. And as the US Census of 2008 state 84% of custodial single parents are mothers. 44% of which are divorced or separated and 33% have never been married. 57% of the custodial fathers on the other hand are divorced or separated, while 18% are not married.
And while roughly 70% are gainfully employed, 30% live below the poverty line and 31% receive public assistance This being the case, Partners in Prevention, in line with its mission to help strengthen families plan to incorporate a support group for parents, who are after all, our Mission-Partners in Prevention. Taking into consideration various socio-economic constraints, specially those facing the parent attendees, sessions would be held every Friday after work at the local schools who are partnered with our organization.
As a special come-on to encourage attendance, a separate group of volunteers would be holding academic tutorials, peer counseling or would provide recreational activities for their children during the meeting. This would create a safe space for both the children and the parents. The children would be given a chance to catch up with their academics or unwind from their stressful school week, while the parents would be given a period where they could fully focus on their own growth as persons and as parents.
Two classrooms would be set-up, (more could be prepared, depending on the number of attendees) one for the parents and another for their children. Provisions for the children such as reference books, snacks and board games would be set-up depending on the need or the activity for that particular meeting. Each parent would be provided with writing materials and hand-outs such as graphic organizers and image sorters depending on the topic at hand. These can be kept in an envelope that the parents could revisit and review outside group time.
They can also refer to their portfolio to track their growth. Keeping in mind that most attendees would be coming in from work, simple snacks such as sandwiches and coffee or juice would be served buffet style at the back of the room. In the book Reviving Ophelia, Dr. Pipher (1995) identifies several facets of themselves that adolescent children usually find difficult, their physical selves, their emotional selves, their thinking selves, their academic selves, their social selves (pertaining to both family and peers) and their spiritual selves.
Considering that a good percentage of parents came from parallel situations as their children, the series of talks/group sessions would discuss the parents’ own experience placed side by side with those of their children‘s keeping in mind the difference in generation and the influence of peers and media. After a session on expectations setting, the second session could focus on the parents’ body image, their acceptance of their physical appearance, body image, body care and diet. This would expand to their home eating habits, and how this affects their children’s body care and diet.
From this second talk, the group would progress to talk in terms of the parents’ personal experience, perceptions and relate them to their children’s experiences. This would not only provide the parents a forum to express their thoughts, concerns and frustrations but also give them a better understanding of their children and the challenges they face. Staff Training Day The staff training day would serve as in-service training for the faculty. It would start with an open forum on the difficulties that the teachers face in terms of their students’ attitude towards studying and other social issues that may affect the children.
Next they would be asked to zero in on what they believe are important steps or measures that they could take to help the children. Since demographics and situations facing each school are highly variable, they would be the best to tackle what they think this particular batch would need, as they are the ones who spend most of the day with the children. Once the problems have been identified, local experts such as doctors or social workers could then come in to discuss the specific concerns that they have raised.
It is important that the teachers are included in the formulation of the action plan to help give them a sense of responsibility and ownership toward addressing these issues. References National Adolescent Health Information Center. (2003). Fact Sheet on Demographics: Adolescents. San Francisco, CA: Author, University of California, San Francisco. Pipher, Mary, Ph. D. (1995). Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. Canada: Balantine Books. United States Census Department (2008 March 17) Custodial Mothers and Fathers and their Child Support: 2005. Retrieved July 3, 2009 from http://www. census. gov/prod/2007pubs/p60234. pdf.Sample Essay of PaperDon.com