Most people know someone in their family or close social network with a drinking or drug problem. But most people--particularly youth--have no formal coping skills for dealing with substance abusers--particulary if the abuser is a parent.
For most youth, it's our little family secret. Their most common response is a combination of enabling, avoidance, confrontation or periodic trauma. While youth have little control over their parents' actions, they can adopt positive coping skills for their own feelings and reactions.
The I Know Somebody Program seeks to promote the resiliency of children of substance abusers by:
1) Providing professional education and counseling for West Charlotte youth in a faith-based setting;
2) Offering a one-week, multi-media workshop during the summer for area youth to develop the I Know Somebody website for positive social marketing.
In the 2010-11 school year, the program focused on developing a community-based curriculum for elementary and middle school students. The elementary curriculum has an accompanying evaluation component developed in partnership with UNC-Charlotte School of Social Work. The program will end the school year with high school students creating a website, www.iknowsomebody.org, through a partnership with the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists.
This program is funded, in part, by an Education Grant from the Mecklenburg ABC Board.