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New grant says CHARACTER COUNTS! for parents, too

New grant says CHARACTER COUNTS! for parents, too

Model program receives three-year Proud Parenting Program grant to end the cycle of violence and delinquency


TULARE COUNTY – Character Counts, the well recognized program that teaches school-age children to lead by example, has now been extended to young parents as well.

The Character Counts program recently received a Proud Parenting Program grant to help build parenting skills in Tulare County young people and to break the intergenerational cycle of violence and delinquency. The grant will fund support services to young parents or expectant parents who were involved in the criminal/juvenile justice systems and/or involved in the child welfare system. Through an individualized case management approach, program participants will gain knowledge to improve responsible parenting skills and attitudes, build relationships with their children, learn necessary life-skills, and improve their self-esteem.

The Proud Parenting Program, previously known as the “Young Men as Fathers Program,” was established in 1997 under the California Youth Authority. In 2005, the Corrections Standards Authority assumed grant administration responsibility, before passing it to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) in 2012. This grant program funds parenting services to young parents and expectant parents between the ages of 14 and 25.

“This grant fits well within our Character Counts Program,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. “Since the beginning of the program and particularly during our US Department of Education study from 2007 to 2011, we have encouraged parents to build their knowledge of the Six Pillars of Character, while giving them tools to teach good character in the home.”

The Character Counts Program will begin the three-year grant serving students within the Tulare County Office of Education’s programs. The number of students served will grow in subsequent years. “We are looking forward to seeing participants complete their case management plan and report back that their family is functioning well and that they are more confident as parents,” said Kelley Petty, Character Counts coordinator. Another goal of the grant is to decrease the number of young parents who, after completing the program, have substantiated incidences of child abuse and neglect.

For more information on the Proud Parenting grant, call Kelley Petty at (559) 740-4303.

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