May is child month on Island, and tomorrow, two government agencies are giving teens aged 13-17 a dose of reality at their teen maze, which deals with subjects like drug abuse and teenage pregnancy, Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter explains
The Department of Children and Family Services and the Family Resource Centre are partnering to teach the youths about the harsh realities of life.
“They don’t resort to negative coping strategies, such as substance abuse or such as gang related behaviours or criminality, its about building a positive support system around that,” said Programme coordinator for the Family Resource Centre, Charmaine Miller.
F.R.C program coordinator, Charmaine Miller says, instead of an adult speaking to a classroom full of students their teen maze initiative puts youths in scenarios, from car crashes, to drug encounters, teaching them interactively.
“And I believe that is exciting for them, they get to explore topics that might trigger some feeling of discomfort and for them to do it within a group setting, with other peers or other high school students is exciting,” said Charmaine Miller.
The FRC teen maze is designed to help youths to explore topics and social issues they face, like teen pregnancy.
“To understand the costs of babies, the impact that it has on their education, whether it is that they can’t meet all their goals because they have additional responsibilities and so on,” said Charmaine Miller.
Juvenile delinquency is also a concern, the latest juvenile court statistics provided by the ESO report, youths aged 14 to 16 have committed 23 more offences in 2015 than in 2014 and alcohol and drug related offences have increased by 38.
“While teens experiment and engage in that, once it becomes a method or a way of coping with whatever underlying issue they are facing, that’s when it becomes and issue,” said Charmaine Miller.
Mrs. Miller says the teen maze will teach the youths about the importance of decision making and show them that there is support if needed.
“It will definitely be presented, not only with strategies of how to handle stress in relation to school in relation to life, but resources,” said Charmaine Miller.
Teen Maze is being held tomorrow, at the UCCI campus. It begins at 9:30 am, registration begins between 8:30 to 9:30 am.