Roberta Charbonneau, Family Connection of Gordon County coordinator, teenage pregnancy and the problems that accompany it are on the rise when she addressed the Kiwanis Club at Ryan’s recently.
“HIV and syphilis are back in this county,” Charbonneau said. “Parents need to take an active role in a teen’s life. These are some of the things we are involved with.”
Among the Family Connection services available to teens are the Department of Family and Children Services, family counseling and the local health department, she said.
The Family Connection of Gordon County is an umbrella group that offers many services, including information and help with parenting skills, homelessness, hunger, child abuse prevention and domestic violence prevention.
The state-funded program places emphasis on bringing the community together, especially children and adults. Several local churches volunteer and network with other groups in the community, support Family Connection endeavors.
Charbonneau mentioned that inappropriate cell phone pictures, music and TV shows focusing their story lines on sexual hook-ups are examples of things that can influence teens to make bad choices.
“What kind of music are they listening to?” she asked. “We aren’t talking about relationships anymore, but hard core sex. Parents need to get involved and find out what’s going on in their child’s life.”
Chrabonneau’s main message is for parents to get involved in their teen’s life and be in the know.
She said teen pregnancy in Gordon County and in Georgia has remained on the rise and STDs remain a problem.
More than 385 children were born in Gordon County to mothers with less than 12 years of education in 2006.
Charbonneau said she speaks to many groups around Gordon County and helps individuals and families connect to resources to enrich their lives.
Visit http://fcn.gafcp.org/fcnetwork/calhoun/ to learn more about Family Connection and volunteer opportunities.