The key steps involved in working with parents and key influencers of teenagers are provided below as a useful starting point for developing your Community Action Plan activity. These steps provide an indicative guide; it is important to tailor your approach to your local community.
Engage relevant community organisations who may have access to parents/influencers of teenagers and encourage them to take action to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harm amongst teenagers:
A whole-of-community approach to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harm among teenagers is recommended. This requires working with community partners to deliver multiple and mutually reinforcing activities. A parent/key influencer workshop may form part of the overall work being undertaken by your LDAT to achieve its objectives. Be mindful that one-off, isolated events are not effective at creating change.
Tips for engaging the community
Through the support of these community organisations link parents/influencers to quality information and resources via local schools, at community events, via local media and through a series of workshops:
It is important that parents have access to quality information and resources about alcohol and other drugs to support their own understanding and to ensure they can provide accurate and positive support to their teenager. LDATs have a role in linking parents of teenagers and key influencers with quality information and resources, and ensuring consistency in how these are communicated. If the messages a young person receives about alcohol and other drugs from their school, family and community are consistent they are more likely to accept the advice being given.
A number of reputable organisations produce evidence-informed information on alcohol and other drugs. Most information is available free-of charge, both online and in printed form.
LDATs may find it beneficial to consult with local youth agencies and health service providers, as they may have additional resources. LDATs may distribute information to parents in a number of ways, including for example:
A critical role of LDATs is to engage with their community to put AOD issues on the public agenda and to motivate them to take action.
Work with your community partners and a suitable expert to deliver workshops for parents and
LDATs should not deliver workshops unless the organisations in their team have the appropriate expertise. In the event that they don’t, the primary role of LDATs should be to support ‘suitably qualified’ community organisations to deliver workshops for parents and key influencers.
Workshops may address one or more of the following content areas:
It is important that the workshops are based on current evidence. The ADF provides evidence informed information and recommends that LDATs
use this content when delivering workshops in their community.
LDATs may also wish to use the resources developed by other organisations including:
The workshop format can be flexible and tailored to meet the needs and preferences of your community.
Choosing the right venue is another important consideration. Consider the following when selecting the location for your workshop:
Consider how you will spread the word in your community to promote the workshop and attract parents and key influencers. This might include one or more of the following:
When promoting the workshop, include information that informs parents and key influencers of the purpose of the workshop, and how they can register to attend.
Good practices for running a workshop include: