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News & Views - Feb, 1995 Issue #32 

KID CATCHERS

(Excerpts from an article by Judi Healey which was printed in Adolescence Magazine, January 1995, p. 30) 

It features Al Cardoza's West Shield located in southern California, and Roy and Marlene Kuplowski's Chemical Dependency Counselor Associates located in Atlanta, Georgia. The article gives a supportive overview of what transport agencies do and how it is best done. 

The idea, says Cardoza, is not to use restraints, not to approach the child in an adversarial way, but to let the kid know there are people who believe in him, and that he has some choices to make so that he can begin to grow.

Roy Kuplowski said, AI need to be personally comfortable that I am helping the child, that the situation is a reasonable parent concern, and not a domestic problem or a case in which a kid is being punished by parents. He states the first thing is determining if he is dealing with the legal, custodial parent -- often a problem in this world of remarriages. 

Important techniques covered are: Introduce yourself; Look them in the eye; Watch body language; Let kids know that one mistake doesn't make a lifetime loser; and Explain choices.

For parents who worry they may be manhandling their kids or trampling on their rights as individuals, Cardoza has this advice: Parents have to do everything they possibly can to raise their child to be the best adult he can be. That supersedes any supposed right that a 14-year-old may think he has to have sex, do drugs, steal or commit gang crimes. 

Copyright 1995, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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