Program helps families find common ground

Seeing a need to give teens and their parents the same tools offered to parents of smaller children through the Parent's Toolbox program, several Craig residents have collaborated to expand what has been until now only a court-ordered diversion program.

"Creating Lasting Family Impressions," an award-winning, research-validated enrichment program begins in January for teens and their parents at no cost.

Portions of the program have been provided to teens sentenced by the court as life-skills education.

Now, the course will be offered to any interested Craig resident.

Topics include developing positive parental influences, independence and responsibility, positive responses and raising resilient youths.

Parents and teens address the same topics in each of the five workshops but from their perspectives.

"The program is written so parents and kids work toward the same goal," said Westley Du Pont, a former middle school counselor who received training on Creating Lasting Family Connections from the course's authors. "The best scenario is you have the parents and the kids go through at the same time. With just the kids, it's better than nothing, but with the parents it's much more effective."

The program teaches teens to make better choices and parents to encourage and support those choices. Both work toward strengthening family bonds.

"This isn't just for at-risk youth, it's for everyone," Du Pont said. "It's designed for the entire community."

She said teens who have been through the program seem to enjoy it and apply what they have learned.

"Hopefully, we've planted a seed and given them another way to look at things," Du Pont said. "It gives a feeling of being closer to their family and more connected to the community."

Drug and alcohol abuse also is covered.

The class is free to participants and will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8 at the School Administration Building. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and the Moffat County School District are partnering to provide the course.

Call 824-1022 for more information or to RSVP.

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