Making good choices to lead better lives

The Juvenile Court uses a variety of programs to educate local students and parents

With the new school year now in full swing, the Guernsey County Juvenile Court is working with local counties to educate students, staff and parents on a variety of issues designed to keep children and families safe.

The Guernsey County Juvenile Court Probation Department uses this channel to reach out to students and teach them about the dangers and consequences of drugs, alcohol, smoking, vaping, sexting and bullying, among other things.

Programs offered include the Drug Education Awareness and Responsibility (DEAR) program. The purpose of this activity is for Multi-System Youth Coordinator Kim Charlton and the Guernsey County Attorney’s Office to provide education and awareness to school children, primarily fifth and sixth graders, on the effects of drug and alcohol use.

By completing this program, students will gain a thorough understanding of the short- and long-term health effects of the most commonly abused drugs. In addition, students will have a better understanding of the possible legal ramifications for someone who uses/abuses drugs. Some of these sessions include guest speakers, such as B. Successful recovering addicts, and some sessions may be offered after school.

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Another session offered to local students is the SEAD (Sexting Education Awareness Diversion) program. It is a three to five day program presented to the classrooms of middle and high schools in the county. The program is designed to approach the complex issues surrounding sexting from an educational standpoint. In addition to sexting, the local program also deals with bullying, cyberbullying and harassment.

Schools also refer students who have violated smoking and vaping policies to the Juvenile Probation Department for educational classes. The goal is to provide education and awareness about the dangers of smoking and vaping and to educate families on how Ohio’s Tobacco Law applies to their children. The program is designed to prevent these cases from going to court and is available to youth who are on probation and have been subpoenaed for a tobacco/vaping incident.

According to Travis Stevens and Charlton, Senior Probation Officer for Juveniles, “These programs are educationally focused and we don’t use scaremongering. They are presented at the children’s level and are intended to make them aware of the dangers. They are not meant to be scary or disturbing. They seem to be very well received.”

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Additional programs are also offered by the Juvenile Probation Department, some of which are court ordered, referred by schools/counselors and by children’s services.

Another program that is offered is Thinking for a Change. It is an integrated cognitive behavior change program that focuses on social skills, cognitive self-change, and problem solving. The main goal is to teach people how to stop, think and make better decisions, resulting in avoiding conflict and bad decisions. It is currently used by local high and middle school students, however several counseling centers in the area use it for adults as well.

The Parenting Project consists of two distinct curriculums: Changing Destructive Teenage Behavior and Loving Solutions. Changing Destructive Teen Behavior is a curriculum for parents of teens ages 12-21 who are behaviorally out of control, sexually active, violent, in gangs, or involved with drugs and/or alcohol. It provides parents with tools, support and information on how to connect with community services such as mental health providers, law enforcement and the court system.

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The Loving Solutions curriculum is designed for parents of teens ages 5-11. It is a more traditional parenting course that teaches parents consistency, structure and basic milestones for young children such as: B. how children at this age think, grow and learn. It specifically addresses the appropriate discipline for this age group and how it should be established, integrated and used in the home.

“I believe it’s important to provide education and intervention for young people so that we can reduce the likelihood of them becoming part of the juvenile court system,” said David Bennett, Guernsey County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge. “The court has an excellent group of people who provide education and mentorship to our local youth.”

For more information on the variety of programs offered by the Guernsey County Juvenile Court, please contact Stevens or Charlton at 740-432-9229.

Filed by the Guernsey County Juvenile Court.