A new program aimed at keeping kids out of trouble is showing signs of success in Regina.
It is called the 11 and Under Inititative, and it involves schools, community organizations, social agencies and police.
The aim is to identify children who look they could be headed down the wrong paths in life.
The official launch was today, but the program has already been in operation for about 10 months.
Regina police chief Troy Hagen says many children are at high risk of unhealthy behaviour, largely a result of their environment. Hagen says keeping them in school and keeping them on the right side of the law will pay huge dividents down the road. He adds he has seen enough to know.
“I went to way too many homes where I saw children that were in challenging circumstances with little to no support within their home — maybe addiction issues, a great deal of dysfunction, maybe violence.”
Social Services minister June Draude was also at today’s event. Her ministry is contributing $100,000 to the program. Draude notes other communities like North Battleford and La Ronge are looking at similar initiatives. She says it makes good sense:
“When we crimes being reduced, when we see school attendance increasing, kids coming to school that are not hungry and with smiles on their face — that’s success.”
Prince Albert has a similar program, but the Regina initiative is the only one targeting children aged 11 years and under.
The hope is to correct at-risk behaviour before it is too late, and to give children the tools they need for success iin the future.