Police Activities Leagues are an important part of our communities, connecting youth and police officers in positive ways. Establishing parent-youth committees within your PAL program can be a great way to promote inclusion and foster communication between young people, their parents, the community and law enforcement.
Create a safe space for open dialogue by emphasizing respect among all participants on the parent-youth committee
Parent-youth committees create a platform for open dialogue between all participants while promoting respect, trust and understanding among all involved. They offer an opportunity for family members to discuss common issues related to safety or relationships with law enforcement that would otherwise stay behind closed doors.
Parents who are active in the PAL program can help ensure that their children receive a full and rewarding experience. They can also bring valuable insight into how to best engage youth, promote understanding between law enforcement and young people, as well as provide additional support to those involved in the program.
“Parents are a child’s first teachers, and there’s no one better equipped to work with schools and educators to identify what students need” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Parents provide critical perspective, and they should always have a seat at the table whenever decisions are made that impact their children. And this is more important than ever in the effort to help students.”
Parents are then given an opportunity to not only support their child but also build meaningful relationships within the community and with police officers.
Youth Benefits of Connecting with Parents
Studies indicate youth learn to handle conflict at an early age, and that many develop the habits and behaviors that will lead their lifestyle.
In troubled households, youth face unique challenges to thrive. Connecting with parents empower students to be heard, understood, and supported.
The community benefits from having a Parent-Youth committee by creating an environment of trust surrounding law enforcement officers, which then allows for better communication between police and citizens. These committees enable parents to become more involved with their child’s activities outside of school or work without feeling like they have been shut out due to language barriers or differences in culture.
Having a parent-youth committee means that the PAL program is more likely to look like and represent the community it serves. This can help create a sense of belonging for young people, as well as offer them leadership roles within their program that could open up doors to further opportunities in the long run.
Encouraging Involvement Among Parents and Youth
Creating a Parent-Youth committee in your PAL program is a great way to ensure that everyone feels heard, respected and included.
Make sure families know their contributions are valued and how they can share their skills or information with others throughout the program.
Create a newsletter
Creating a Parent-Youth newsletter or handbook is also beneficial as they will get more involved in the program if they know more about what’s going on.
Host social community-building events
Planning social gatherings outside of official meetings can help build relationships between families and their child’s peers within the PAL program while promoting understanding, trust and respect among all participants.
Create Opportunities for Members to Connect With Leadership
Invite local law enforcement officers to speak with families and youth in order to create an open dialogue between all parties. This can help build trust while encouraging greater involvement within the program, and begin to teach youth leadership skills they can carry for a lifetime.
Plan a group field trip
Arrange field trips for all involved with the PAL program in order to create a sense of belonging among students while also giving them an opportunity see places they may not have access to otherwise.
Is a Parent-Youth Committee Right for Your Police Activity League
Creating a Parent-Youth committee can be an effective way to foster understanding and create meaningful relationships between young people, their parents, the community and law enforcement. It will also increase involvement within your PAL program as well as promote inclusivity and collaboration among participants.
Setting up a parent-youth committee is not without its challenges and it’s important to evaluate whether or not you have the necessary resources available before taking on this.
By implementing these strategies, your Police Activity League can become even stronger with a deeper level of engagement from its members which leads to better outcomes for everyone involved!