The Placer Parent Host Program was developed to increase awareness of underage drinking risks and empower parents to change community norms and provide safer environments for our youth.
About the Program
Spearheaded by a partnership of county law enforcement, public and community agencies, schools, citizen groups and Placer County HHS, the project provides two powerful elements of awareness and action, sending a clear unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. The Placer Parent Host Program has two major components:
- Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don't be a party to Teenage Drinking" is a public awareness campaign that provides parents with accurate information about the health and safety risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. It highlights that parents who allow underage drinking parties at their home can be prosecuted under the law and face a number of consequences.
- The Responsible Host Pledge is a parental commitment to not allow underage drug or alcohol use in their home and to actively chaperone youth gatherings at their residence. The pledge is an excellent way for families to discuss underage drinking issues together and together set clear guidelines and expectations. Pledges are turned into School Resource Officers or the local police department. Participating homes will have phone number and address entered into a countywide searchable database. Parents will be able to access the database to see if a residence has been listed as a Responsible Host home. Parents are encouraged to always call the hosting parent(s) to verify the occasion, party location, and the presence of adult supervision.
Why the focus on parents?
Teenagers often obtain their alcohol from their parents or friends' parents, often with the knowledge and approval of the adults involved. In fact, parents are the most common source of alcohol for teens ages
13-18. Local and national data give some surprising findings.
- In twenty five Placer County focus groups, teens consistently reported that parents, either their own or friend's, were among the most common ways of accessing alcohol.
- A 2005 study of teenagers between 13 and 18 conducted by American Medical Association found: Thirty-three percent of teens responded that it is easy to obtain alcohol from their own parents (knowingly); this increases to 40 percent when it is from a friend's parent. One in four teenagers responded they had attended a party where people under the age of 21 were drinking in front of parents; and for teens who obtained alcohol in the past six months, parents have been the supplier an average of three times in a six-month period.
- The good news is that parents can be a powerful positive influence on their children. Give consistent, caring messages and look for opportunities to provide discreet parental guidance. When parents communicate their expectations that their child not drink alcohol, research shows these children have less alcohol use, better refusal skills and a stronger resistance to peer influence to drink excessively.