Empower Surrey website helps keep youth out of gangs
The City of Surrey has launched a new website designed to empower teachers, parents, caregivers and other trusted adults to prevent youth from joining gangs.
Empower Surrey is a tool to help youth build resiliency in hopes of reducing gang involvement, created with funding from Safe Schools and content contributions from the district and other community agencies. Directly informed by youth, the site focuses on Surrey's unique gang landscape and gang-related issues that affect kids and teens locally.
"The definition of what a gang is, why youth join and what they do, is different in Surrey than what is seen and portrayed in other parts of North America and the media," said Sarah McKay, manager of the district's Safe Schools department. "Empower Surrey provides insight into what the truth is in Surrey.
"Access to up-to-date, geographically specific information and resources is key in supporting Surrey and White Rock families as they endeavour to identify protective factors as they relate to susceptibility for gang involvement."
The website includes helpful features such as:
- How to identify and address risk factors and warning signs in youth who may want to join a gang
- Individual and social protective factors that parents can learn to instill in their kids
- Advice to parents on starting early conversations, strengthening connection and improving communication with their kids
- A directory on youth slang covering abbreviations and terms related to online and social media activity, drugs and alcohol, violence and bullying, sex and sexual exploitation, dating and relationships, and physical and mental health
- Youth Truth, a collection of anonymous real stories from kids and teens to showcase challenging topics to discuss with parents or caregivers
The site also features a comprehensive list of prevention, intervention and enforcement programs and resources in Surrey that parents and guardians can access.
To learn more, visit EmpowerSurrey.ca