CITY OF THOUSAND OAKS, CA
Mayor Michael Sean Markey

PARENT FORUM

1. Briefly describe the structure of the program.

The Parent Forum was created to educate parents on the many services and resources available to them within this community. The focus of the Parent Forum is on "Youths at Risk." The forum is made up of a panel of speakers from different community agencies. The panel consists of Probation Officers, Youth Outreach Workers, School Counselors, Youth Employment Workers, Conejo Recreation and Park District employees, District Attorney’s Office Gang Prosecutor, Interface and Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Officers. Each person gives a brief talk on their services and then makes time for answering questions.

2. When was the program created and why?

The Parent Forum was developed by the City of Thousand Oaks Special Enforcement Detail / Gang Unit in 1996. This program was created in response to parents thinking they were alone in the battle with their "at risk" children. It also serves as a method of gang intervention and interaction with parents and youth.

3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?

To date, we have had three Parent Forums. The attendance has been in excess of 125 community parents. The first Forum was a combination English and Spanish presentation with the use of court interpreters. The second Forum was split into two separate presentations on different days. The parents are asked to complete a written evaluation which validates the need for the Forum and the parent’s overwhelming appreciation. The long term effects are difficult to assess at this time, however, it has increased valuable communication between the Police Department and parents. This communication assists us in our intervention and enforcement strategies and assists parents with the resources to deal with their children.

4. How is the program financed?

The cost of funding the Parent Forum is minimal to no cost. The facilities are existing and are for the purpose of community type meetings. In the past, the Police Department Community Room and local schools have been used. Agency representatives are either on duty, paid overtime, hours flexed and in some cases uncompensated. Minimum costs were incurred for printing, postage and refreshments that were furnished.

5. Contact person:

Sergeant Mike De Los Santos at (805) 371-8330.

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