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The Opportunity Seminar: Engaging Families in Substance Misuse Prevention Through Partnerships
Alexandria, Virginia developed a seminar to address substance use in its schools that was a response beyond school suspensions. The seminar was created to reduce school absenteeism and drug use. During this session, participants will learn how Alexandria’s school district, substance misuse prevention coalition and juvenile court developed a collaborative model to address substance use infractions through a bi-monthly seminar delivered to students and their families. Students referred to the program are screened and attend with a parent to learn about the facts and consequences of drug use and engage in a restorative practice regarding the violation to the school code of conduct. Through a combination of engaging group presentations and one-on-one activities, this promising practice helps parents and their children heal a broken bond, move past disciplinary sanctions and journey forward with the information they need to make healthy choices.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
1) Learn how to create and maintain partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations.
2) Develop innovative and non-traditional approaches to substance use among teens in schools.
3) Integrate a restorative justice approach into existing practices.