What Can I Do?
Discovering your child is involved in a gang or may be expressing some at-risk gang behavior and it can come as a shock. When a child joins a gang the entire family is affected. However, there are things you can do and help is available.
Start the conversation- remember it is best to talk calmly with your child.
If you feel confident, ask some questions
Ask questions to determine the level of involvement. (there are a few levels of gang involvement and each one should be taken seriously. Are they just hanging around acquaintances or friends, have they done a crime or have been jumped in?
Actively listen in a caring and non-judgmental way. There is a reason your child is doing the things they are doing.
Recognize that gang membership is not just the child's problem. It is the family's problem as well.
Do not try to tackle the problem by yourself. Were are here to help.
There are many agencies and community resources available to help you in removing your child from a gang's influence. Resources to consider contacting are:
Local police gang unit
School resource officer
Social service agencies
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has created a parents resource guide which contains information on behaviors associated with joining gangs, common gang identifiers, and what parents can do.
Click here to order
A Parent's Guide To Gangs
Additional Resources for Parents: Provided by OJJDP
How Parents Stop Teens Gang Involvement
The Impact of Parents on Gangs
The Reasons Kids Join Gangs
A Gang's Effect on Kids
IF YOU NEED HELP GETTING YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILD OUT OF A GANG, PLEASE CALL 385-468-9773