Program Spotlight – Por los Ninos: Preventing Substance Abuse Among Latino Youth
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership and its program partner, Family Life Education, have launched a new initiative, Por los Ninos, aimed at empowering parents and families in Hartford to develop effective and culturally-relevant approaches for reducing underage drinking and preventing substance abuse among young people in grades 4-12.
In July, a media advisory committee met to develop messages for reaching parents with information and resources they can use to talk with their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Beginning in September, the committee will recommend public service announcements and media messages that will be disseminated through Spanish and English-speaking media outlets and social media platforms.
Family Life Education is connecting parents through a parent café model designed to break through isolation and connect parents with each other for discussion, support and resources. The participating parents will also provide advice and guidance for the development of additional prevention tools.
Over the last several months, project staff have been engaged in a listening tour in the city, talking to parents, treatment providers, elected officials and community leaders, key stakeholders and concerned community members about their perspectives on substance use among Latino/Hispanic youth in Hartford. Neighborhood safety, opportunities to keep young people safe and engaged after school, and information about how to talk with children have all been identified as priorities that parents want to see addressed.
Other components of the project include development of a referral portal for parents who need resources and support, and linkage to services for young people who may have a substance abuse problem or are affected by other risk factors.
The Por los Ninos initiative is made possible by generous funding from the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of UnitedHealthGroup. Employees from the company in Hartford are volunteering on the project's advisory group and the media advisory committee, and the corporation is committed to making a positive difference for young people in Hartford..
For more information on this project, contact Rachel Ferreira, Program Manager, Prevention Services and Partnerships via email or at 860.757.3585.