Families attending presentation in library

Initiative helps parents keep their kids safe from gangs.

December 9, 2021
Media Release

Surrey – Throughout November, the city piloted its Empower Surrey Parent Workshops that are designed to help parents, trusted adults and caregivers to keep kids safe from gangs. Empower Surrey workshops provide information in multiple languages about risk factors, warning signs, and local gang recruitment techniques, as well as strategies for building stronger connections with youth.

“The SAFE program has proven to be a success in supporting parents in keeping their children safe from gangs, and the Empower Surrey Parent Workshop program is another way that we are diverting kids away from this risky lifestyle,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “This program has been so well received by parents and caregivers, that staff are already planning the next series of Empower Surrey workshops for Spring 2022.”

Over 230 parents registered for the six workshops, including one offered in Punjabi, which were all co-facilitated in Surrey secondary schools by the City’s Community Safety team, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) and counsellors from Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (SAFE) Program partner Simon Fraser University.

Participants provided very positive feedback and indicated a need for the city to continue offering the workshops in the future. Community Safety’s target of 100 new unique visits to its Empower Surrey website by the end of November was easily surpassed as over 2000 were observed.

Based on participant feedback, increased website traffic, and unexpected outcomes such as SFU gaining 9 counselling clients as a direct result of these workshops, more are being planned for Spring 2022. Learn more about risk factors and how to have conversations with youth early by visiting Empowersurrey.ca.