Delinquency Prevention

Adopted March 1974 – Reviewed and deemed relevant March 2012 – Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes that every child should have the opportunity to become a self-respecting, contributing member of society. For a variety of reasons, some children find themselves “at risk” and as a result, the normal sequence of events for living a law-abiding life is threatened.

In order to assist these “at risk” children and youth, delinquency prevention programs must be developed and implemented in communities. Programs should invest in effective locally-based strategies and expand opportunities for youth to participate in structured activities with adult supervision outside school hours.

Reducing delinquency and youth violence should be the primary goal of any prevention program. Every effort should be made to develop and implement delinquency prevention programs that enhance the living environment by fostering positive social interaction, encouraging strong bonding within the family and creating attachments within the community.

Many different approaches can work to prevent delinquency. Specifically, prevention programs should:

  • Address the highest priority problem areas, at appropriate developmental stages, and identify strengths (risk factors and protective factors) to which children in a particular community are exposed;
  • Focus most strongly on populations exposed to a number of risk factors;
  • Address multiple risk factors in multiple settings, such as family, schools and peer groups;
  • Offer comprehensive interventions across many systems, including health and education, and deal simultaneously with many aspects of juveniles’ lives;
  • Provide intensive contact with at-risk juveniles, often involving multiple contacts per week or even on a daily basis;
  • Build on juveniles’ strengths and create opportunities for physical, social, mental and emotional development that fosters the expansion of positive self-esteem;
  • Deal with juveniles in the context of their relationship to and with others, rather than focus solely on the individual;
  • Include the participation of parents and/or guardians in development and implementation and contain a component of parental education, support and information on how to deal with “at risk” children and;
  • Utilize the available community intervention programs through coordinated cooperative endeavors with law enforcement and social service agencies.

California State PTA believes that through a responsive network of community-based services the obstacles faced by our most vulnerable children and their families can be overcome, their needs can be met and they can flourish as responsible, contributing members of society.

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