SALINAS, Calif. -- A non-profit organization on the Central Coast is behind an effort to crack down on out-of-control youth in Monterey County.
"These kids are ruling their household," said Kathy Bauer, director of Partners for Peace. "Their parents are scared of them."
Bauer said it's those parents who need help whipping their kids into shape.
The Parent Project focuses on parents of kids between 12 and 18 years old who turn to drugs, alcohol, gangs, and truancy.
"The program encourages parents to set house rules, to set discipline, to set consequences in the household, and some structure, which really is lacking in some of the families where we see a lot of the gang issues and drug issues," said Officer Richard Lopez of the Salinas Police Department. "Every time I go to a family that has a child that's involved with gangs or drugs, I see there's a lot of weakness in the family structure."
The founders of the nationally-known program train people, like law enforcement, therapists, and others involved in the community, how to help parents deal with their kids better. Dozens of them got certified on Friday.
"We teach them to tell your kid you love them every day, no matter how mad you are," Bauer said. "When there is an issue, we help parents to develop a plan because parents sometimes have no idea what to do."
She said it's about putting the responsibility on the parents.
The non-profit is hosting the training after it received $56,000 from CalGrip 6. Julianne Leavy, executive director of Harmony At Home in Carmel, said the training is unlike any on the Central Coast.
"Before it's more like teaching to the classes and there's discussions and interactions, but the parents were not engaged in the same way to support each other. That's the difference," she said.
The parent-teacher training has been held all over the country, but this is the first for Monterey County.
The 10-week program for parents will start in April.
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