Nicole Shukeat and Jean Dupey (facilitator)
Parent Project® of Ottawa County has educated 100 parents to date and has a 70% successful completion rate. Approximately 87 youth have been served through their parents participating in this program. Eleven sessions have been held to date and eight parents participated in the most recent session. Their graduation was held on March 25, 2014.
Parent Project of Ottawa County began in the fall of 2010 as a joint effort between Ottawa County Juvenile Court and Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services. One of the recent parent participants, Beverly Ruttschaw, had this to say about the program: “As a parent there is always room for growth and learning. I wish I could have taken this class years ago, but I still feel like I got a lot from it.”
Parent Project educates parents on prevention and effective intervention strategies to help address issues today’s adolescents may be experiencing, such as drug/alcohol use, truancy and school related issues, exposure to violence and adult content in the media/video games/TV/internet, suicidal thoughts/actions, running away, criminal behavior, negative peer relationships/influences and social networking/sexting.
Unlike many parenting classes that only provide skill development, Parent Project has a huge support component for the parents. Another parent, Nicole Shukeat, said, “In this class you realize you are not alone. Others have been there and love to help.” Parents in the class tend to develop a bond with each other and by the end have learned they can turn to each other for guidance and support. Parents are encouraged to continue meeting without the facilitators upon completion of the class. The most recent graduating class plans to get together on their own in early April.