Families in Motion engages teens, parents

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A collaborative Families in Motion program designed to help teens and their parents address current issues such as navigating through COVID, preventing human trafficking, and safely use social media is now open for registration.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Cheryl Sueing-Jones, one of four Community Partnership Prosecutors facilitating the program said she knows kids are experiencing videoconferencing fatigue but the meetups seem to be so well-received that this is the third time they have held the free, five-week long program.

Sueing-Jones said each two-hour long class is meant to provide an overview, “a launchpad to continue having dialogue with parents” on each topic.

Facilitators illustrate how easy it is for a stranger— who might be completely different from what they present online— to get information from one Instagram post.

“Those posts give all sorts of information away through photos: who you are, your friends, when your birthday is, what school you attend, your sports; and it also connects to FaceBook where there is other information. We talk about how you’re putting yourself out there showing real-life situations, talk about internet crimes and internet safety, which is very connected to human trafficking,” Sueing-Jones said.

The physical distancing and online learning brought on by the COVID pandemic have changed the statistics around online grooming, Sueing-Jones said to “something like crimes against children have quadrupled” with predators and perpetrators knowing kids are online.

For more information or to register for the next session, which begins on Feb. 2, contact Sueing-Jones at: cheryl.Sueing-Jones@sdcda.orga