A Family Night Out program will be offered to parents, caregivers and youths ages 10-14 starting March 3rd at the Highland Park Community Center located at 220 South Sixth Avenue in Highland Park.

Family Night Out is a seven-session program that works with children ages 10 to 14 and their families to address teen behavioral problems and issues of substance abuse.

The evening starts with a free family meal. “We serve a well-balanced, nutritional meal and the families sit down together and enjoy that family meal time, which sometimes doesn't happen anymore,” said Heather Ward, Coordinator of School and Family Programs at Wellspring Center for Prevention.

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After the meal, the parents and children meet separately with Wellspring Preventionists and staff.

The adults learn and discuss parenting techniques to help them deal with their children during adolescence. They review subjects that include parental love and limits, making rules, encouraging good behavior, using consequences, protecting against substance abuse and getting help through community resources. During student time, subjects such as having goals and dreams, appreciating parents, dealing with stress, following rules, dealing with peer pressure and reaching out to others are discussed. After dinner, youths work as a group while parents work together; later, the youth and parent groups come together to play games and work on activities, such as skill building.

The first Family Night Out session in Highland Park is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd starting at 6:00pm. Subsequent sessions will follow on Tuesday March 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7 and the graduation will be held on April 21st.
Free childcare is available for children younger than ten. Enrollment is limited so interested families need register ASAP to reserve their spot.

To register, contact Heather Ward at 732-254-3344 ext. 120 or via email at heather.ward@wellspringprevention.org. Registration can also be by calling the Highland Park Community Center (732) 819-0052 or reaching out to the Highland Park Teen Centers or the CAVE.