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parents as community activists

Ways Parents Can Be Community Activists

Parents of all kinds worry about their neighborhood. They don’t want crime to influx their local community and cause harm to those that they care about. However the leading reason why parents want their local area to be safe is for the sake of their children.

If your kids go to the local school the last thing you want for them is to be caught in the middle between criminals and the police.

There’s no knowing what could happen and that’s why parents with children in a bad neighborhood tend to move out altogether. But it’s not just crime that is an issue in neighborhoods, but the lack of activities for children to do.

Boredom creates mischief sometimes and for some kids without any direction or hobbies, doing risky and bad things just becomes a form of entertainment. Mental health is also a big issue in local communities as people that you might know and are friends with, could have episodes where they do things out of character such as start arguments or fights.

All of these things and more, lead many parents to try and be a force for good in their neighborhood and surroundings communities. Here are a few ways you could become this kind of person.

Community activity leader

Most likely you have heard of local community centers. These are places where children can go to play games and get various forms of help from other kids and adults.

The typical community center will have games like foosball, video game consoles and plenty of extra activities that involve going outside the center. Going out into the world to go do various activities at sporting centers is also a common thing. Kids that have never touched a bow and arrow before, can be taught the basics of archery. Of course the usual games in the park like football, basketball, tennis and many others can be learned as well.

The person who is providing these activities to children is often known as the community activity leader. A figurehead in the community, they are trusted by parents to take care of their kids while they’re out doing fun things that they cannot do at home.

How can you become this person, or at least help and work alongside the community activity leader? Going to your local authorities and volunteering is one way. Another way is to sign up as an adult volunteer at the community center itself.

Going up and speaking to the leader or a member of the community board at local meetings is a great way to mingle and see what opportunities are on offer. However, many universities also offer places for volunteers who want to help their local students with extracurricular.

Many students need to earn credits to further their education and that often means engaging in things like sport or helping the local community. University student groups often go out into the local neighborhoods to help the poor as well. 

Working with the next generation

Most of the time local communities send their children all to the same schools. This means that the next generation of those communities are essentially in one place at once during at least 6-8 hours in the day. You can help these children deal with their issues, which they could not feel comfortable speaking to their friends about. A child social worker is a role that is becoming more and more accessible.

You have the opportunity to become an apprentice of a company that will teach you the ropes on the job. There will of course be written work to complete which will ultimately evaluate your competence and intelligence for the role you want.

There’s also a chance to learn about child psychology at many after-hours or night schools. Open universities also have courses for those that want to work in this field which you can take during the afternoon and evening hours.

What will your job entail if you were to pass and become certified? Well, you would be part of a school faculty. As a support staff, you work with children that have a pattern of misbehaving. Often times children don’t misbehave purely for the sake of it. Usually it’s a sign of frustration and it’s your job to find out what is causing that shift in mood. Some kids just have a general lack of focus.

This could be due to mental health conditions which again, you need to test and evaluate by asking certain questions and playing cognitive skills-based games with them. This way children with problems at home, with their skills and intelligence as well as mental health concerns can be treated as individuals.

Your end result is to find the best care and quality of life for them while they are at school and if need be, even at home. 

Rolling the beat

If you have paid attention to any of the modern police force initiatives, you will know that there is a desperate need for members of the communities to come forth and join. Quite evidently, some communities see the police as a cause of friction and sometimes see them as people who are not on their side.

This is why more and more law enforcement officials are encouraging local police departments to try as best they can to hire members of local communities as police officers. When people in communities that have prevalent violence and many disturbances due to anti-social behaviour see familiar faces wearing the badge, they are less likely to see them as the enemy.

A much better grasp of the situation can be had and dialogue can occur when a friend and local of the community is part of the police force that patrols the neighborhood. 

How could you get your qualifications to actually become a police officer? Taking a course in criminology is definitely one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. You’ll learn about police psychology which shows you how to think like and the opposite to criminals.

Mental health and justice is a key topic for the modern police officer and local communities. The more people can understand certain conditions and what that could mean for the behavior of individuals that are afflicted by them, the better relations can be forged between the police and the public.

However you’ll also be taught the psychology of crime and why certain crimes are trending as well as how criminals approach their misdeeds. Quantitative methodologies in criminology is the area where you learn complex problem solving which helps in investigations and on the scene questioning to victims, suspects and witnesses.

The local watch 

Working with police departments you can become a part of the the local watch. So much crime at night can be stopped just by local members keeping an eye out for each other. This would simply involve being in contact with each other at all hours of the evening and night.

How local watches work is by local members working with the local authorities and government. This would mean that you get some funding if you need it, and you will have a relationship with law enforcement that is beyond just the general sense.

What local watches do is meet every couple of weeks to discuss what they might have seen or any kinds of trends they are seeing evolve in their communities. Of course this involves how crime is spreading or being kept at bay in the area, what kind of preventative measures can be taken, how best to inform local people, and what kind of help or assistance they need. 

Volunteering at the local police station or going to a town hall meeting with the local government are the best ways to get in on this kinds of program. However it’s not just as easy as turning up, but you will need to show proof of residence as well as being competent with some menial tasks.

There’s usually a hierarchy so that there is a chain of command and more responsibility is taken by those that are more competent or simply just more available. The first task you will be given is to talk about how you keep your own home secure, and what kind of advice you would give to someone who has now prior knowledge of how to do this. Then another task might be to make a week-long report of the things you see that might be suspicious or just details of each day and night in general.

This is to prove that you have a keen eye and can be of good use to the local neighborhood watch team. It’s a great way to just get involved with the community care at ground level and help to keep your children safe at night. Neighborhoods with excellent watches are less likely to be targeted by criminals in future.

Parents should actively work with local authorities to help make their neighborhoods a safer place of their children. However you can go multiple steps further and become a police officer with great training and skills to be a true force for good.