Tuesday is class night for a growing community of parents in Orange County. They are part of Padres Unidos, an entirely voluntary program that teaches parenting skills to dads and moms of at risk youth. Parents make a commitment to attend every Tuesday evening for 30 weeks. Child care is provided.
The program teaches love, support and restorative justice. It empowers parents to be parents. Many continue the training in order to become peer mentors, and eventually trainers themselves. Padres Unidos has been so successful that the Orange County juvenile system has fully contracted with it for five years.
This week Fred LaPuzza, Director of Restorative Justice for the Diocese of Orange, welcomed Debbie McDermott from the California Catholic Conference, Jeff Korgen, representing the US Bishops Conference, Deacon Martin, and Doug Sanger, Division Director at Orange County Juvenile Hall to a firsthand encounter with the program’s leadership team and training session participants.