The City of Surrey is once again inviting parents, guardians and community members to attend one of six Empower Surrey Parent Workshops to learn more about gang prevention, risk factors and how to talk to children and youth about gangs.
For the fourth time since late 2021, the Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (SAFE) team will facilitate another round of interactive workshops supported by district staff from the Safe Schools department, SAFE clinical counsellors and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) BC. The community workshops are an opportunity for attendees to connect with the city and district, learn more about youth safety and access available resources and supports to prevent gang involvement.
The workshop dates and locations are as follows:
- Tuesday, April 11, 6-8 p.m. – Sullivan Heights Secondary, 6248 144 St.
- Tuesday, April 18, 6-8 p.m. – Hazelgrove Elementary, 7057 191 St.
- Tuesday, April 25, 6-8 p.m. – Johnston Heights Secondary, 15350 99 Ave. (with Arabic translation)
- Thursday, May 11, 6-8 p.m. – Semiahmoo Secondary, 1785 148 St.
- Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m. – Dr. F.D. Sinclair Elementary, 7480 128 St. (Punjabi session)
- Wednesday, May 31, 6-8 p.m. – Jessie Lee Elementary, 2064 154 St.
“The goal is to equip parents and the public with the knowledge to identify warning signs and risk factors of gang activity, as well as the tools to talk to their kids about gangs and to build stronger connections to keep them from joining gangs,” said Jaclyn Blaney, facilitator with the district's Safe Schools department.
Attendees will learn about Surrey gangs and what makes them unique, the difficulties Surrey & White Rock youth face at school and in the community, and where to get help if your child or a young person in your life is heading down a path towards gang involvement.
Workshop attendees will also learn how to:
- Recognize and address risk factors
- Recognize youth slang that may indicate a potential for risk
- Take preventative measures, including:
- How to build protective factors into your routine
- How to develop and maintain strong connections with your children and youth – one of the most powerful ways to keep kids safe
These themes are helpful to know, whether or not the challenges your child may face are gang-related. The tools from these workshops will support parents with feeling confident in recognizing warning signs and creating open dialogue with their youth.
The workshops will also feature exercises for parents and guardians, and opportunities to ask questions one-on-one with experts. Concerned citizens and people who work with youth who may want more information are also welcome.
Attendees must register through Empower Surrey, an online resource for anti-gang information launched last year.
The schools hosting the workshops were chosen to ensure easy access in various areas of the city, though parents can attend any session they like. The Dr. F.D. Sinclair Elementary workshop will be offered in Punjabi.
For more information or to register for a session, visit empowersurrey.ca.