Rice County has seen a steady decline in the number of Juvenile Delinquencies, Child in Need of Protection or Services, and Truancy cases, as well as a decrease in the number of children using alcohol and other drugs. Also, significantly more Rice County children are graduating than previously. National Parents’ Day is July 27th this year and it offers a fitting time to say congratulations to all Rice County parents for a job well done. Parents’ Day is a national observance but not a public holiday in the United States-maybe it should be. Parents’ Day promotes the message that parents are important to society and in the development of children. Graduating from high school is one of the key determinate factors for a child’s success in life. The increasing graduation rates in Rice County schools bode well for the future prosperity of our community and indicate that parents are actively engaged in the education of their children. Parent involvement in their child’s education must be supported by the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of all members of our community.
Parents’ day also offers an opportunity for us to acknowledge the vital role parents play in crime prevention. Beyond recognizing responsible parenting, positive role models, and celebrating the bonds of love between parents and children, parents should be recognized as crime fighters and social engineers. Every parent has the responsibility to develop a child in to a person who will benefit society as a law abiding, productive, and happy citizen. Failure in that critical mission costs us dearly and means pain and suffering for the family.
Rice County Family Service Collaborative, Social Services, Chemical Health Coalition, schools, law enforcement, and other agencies work together to provide a safety net to support parents in the hard work of raising children. We strive to achieve a true partnership with parents to deliver better outcomes for all children. Through strengthening partnership efforts with parents, our organizations all are devoted to building community capacity for prevention and assistance efforts. Rice County and its partners are eager to work with all interested persons and groups to promote healthy development for all children.
Some parents need our help on occasion. Comprehensive services designed to enhance and strengthen functioning for families are available to parents and children to improve relationships and to ensure the safety and well-being of children. Services are available to minor parents; families of children who are truant from school, running away from home, or experiencing parent/child conflict; and families in need of services because of a child's special needs. County and community providers offer protective services including counseling, referrals, parent education, and case management. Out of home placement including foster care is used with a focus of family reunification. We can all give a helping hand to parents here in Rice County by offering supportive words of encouragement and praise to parents when we catch a child doing the right things in life.
Parents have a hard job. Technology has made being a parent even harder. Parenting today requires skills to engage with their children’s online lives. Communication between parents and children often times revolve around negotiating boundaries to electronic media use. We all must remember even as technology changes a child’s main worries and concerns remain the same-am I safe, loved and cared for by my parents. Parenting will help your child to build strong life skills, morals, work ethic, and healthy relationships that will last a life time. Thank you to all parents and keep up the great work-your children and neighbors are depending on you.