Safe Homes Safe Parties

Spring Break, springtime celebrations and summer vacation are all coming soon. Careful party planning can result in a fun AND safe party for teens:

When Your Teen Is Giving A Party

Plan in advance. Check party plans with your teenager and know who the guests will be. If you agree on who is to be invited you can curb the “open party” situation. Set definite limits.
Agree to the rules ahead of time. The rules should include:
1. No drugs, including alcohol or tobacco.
2. No leaving the party and returning.
3. No gate crashers.
4. Some rooms in your home are off limits.

Know your responsibilities. The responsible adult at a teenager’s party must be visible and aware. Remember it is illegal to serve/provide drugs, including beer, wine, wine coolers, etc. to anyone under 21 years of age. You may be liable both to criminal charges and for monetary damages in a civil lawsuit if you furnish alcohol and other drugs to a minor.
Supervision is key to keeping the party safe. If any guests arrive at the party acting like they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, notify their parents immediately.
Anyone who leaves the party should not be allowed to return. This discourages people from leaving with the intent of drinking or using drugs in their cars or elsewhere and then returning to the party.
Welcome calls from other parents to discuss the party arrangements.
Notify your neighbors beforehand that a party is being given and will be supervised.
Notify the police when giving a large party. Discuss with them an agreeable parking plan. Let police know whom to contact in case of complaints.
Hire off-duty police officers to help with parking and enforcing rules about drugs and alcohol (if financially possible).
Plan to have food and plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.
Plan some activities ahead of time, such as movies, dancing, sports, etc.
Discuss the party afterwards with your teenager and share your observations and possible frustrations.

You can sign the Safe Homes Safe Parties pledge at http://www.informedfamilies.org/informed-families-safe-homes-smart-parties-pledge

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