Friday, July 21, 2017

What is this Social Host All About – Part 1

Who is a Social Host? 
A social host is someone who knowingly allows an underage person to consume alcohol illegally on the host’s property. 

What is Social Host Liability? 
Social Host Liability is the legal term for the criminal responsibility of a person who allows such illegal activity.

What would this ordinance/law aim to do?
·         This ordinance is part of the effort to stop underage drinking.
·         The Social Host Ordinance is aimed at those who allow persons under legal age to consume alcoholic beverages in or on property they own or control.
·         This ordinance would address enforcement and prosecution problems where persons knowingly permit or allow underage drinkers to have a party on their property, even when the owner didn’t supply the alcohol, and persons, including parents, who knowingly permit or allow their children’s friends to consume alcohol at their home, even where the parents didn’t supply the alcohol.  Currently, only the person who actually physically sells or gives the alcohol to the person under legal age can be prosecuted.
·         The ordinance will address adults who know that underage drinking is occurring on their property and either allow it to go on or does nothing to stop it.  Underage drinkers may obtain the alcohol from one person, and then go somewhere else to drink it.  Common examples are parties that take place in rural areas, or the basement of a home of one of the underage drinkers.  Parents have told police that they knew about the party and it was okay with the parents, because the kids weren’t driving and they knew where they were. 
·         The charge and penalty will be punishable by a fine.
·         The ordinance only applies to those who know that underage drinking is going on and do not stop it, or who gave permission for it to occur in the first place.  It would not apply to persons who did not know that underage drinking was occurring on their property.  For example, if the parents were away, and their child had a party at their home and the parents were unaware of it, those parents would not be charged.  Other examples would be a land owner who does not live on the property and teens hold a party on it without the owners knowledge or a property owner who rents a cabin or room to someone who allows underage drinking while renting the property – the owner would not be held accountable for this, the renter would be the one held accountable. 
·         The ordinance/law would not give law enforcement permission to enter private property without cause. 

Read more about Social Host in next week’s paper.  For more information please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Botvin Life Skills Training Curriculum

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

In June of 2016 the Iowa Department of Public Health approved the use of the Botvin Life Skills Training Curriculum at the Van Buren Community Jr. /Sr. High School to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  On July 20, 2016 the Van Buren Community School Board approved the implementation of the program in the 7th and 8th grade Explore Rotation beginning in the 2016-17 school year with the 7th grade class. 

During the 2016-17 school year the Middle School Principal, Chuck Banks, and the Life Skills Teacher, Mindie Donald, decided to include both the 7th and 8th grade students in the Level I Life Skills classes during their Explore Rotation.  All but two students completed the full program during the 2016-17 school year.  The pre and post-surveys showed an increase in understanding of skills in addressing self-image and self-improvement, making decisions, smoking: myths and realities, smoking and biofeedback, alcohol: myths and realities, marijuana: myths and realities, advertising, violence and the media, coping with anxiety, coping with anger, communication skills, social skills, assertiveness, and resolving conflicts.  Mrs. Donald has shared that the classes allowed for good discussion, had good involvement, and are helpful for the students in Van Buren County. 

In the 2017-18 school year the new 7th grade students will participate in Level I of the program and 8th grade students will participate in Level II as the Life Skills Curriculum builds on the information provided each year. 

The Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. LifeSkills Training is comprehensive, dynamic, and developmentally designed to promote positive youth development. In addition to helping kids resist drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, the LifeSkills Training Middle School program also effectively supports the reduction of violence and other high-risk behaviors. 

The program learning objectives area as follows:
·         Personal Self-Management Skills: Students develop skills that help them enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving abilities, reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.
·         General Social Skills: Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence.
·         Drug Resistance Skills: Students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

For more information on the Life Skills Training curriculum, please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Monday, July 3, 2017

Super Hero Kids - SAFE AND HEALTHY KIDS FAIR - July 25th — 5:00 to 7:00 pm

The Child Abuse Prevention Council will be sponsoring the fourteenth annual “Safe and Healthy” Kids Fair. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at the Roberts Memorial Building in Keosauqua from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and is open to all Van Buren County residents.
The fair theme this year will be Superhero Kids with many fun games and activities for kids.  As always the fair will focus on keeping kids, ages 0-18 in the county safe and healthy.  Topics that will be covered include: child abuse prevention, nutrition, mental health, dental, immunizations, lead poisoning, fire safety, literacy, quality childcare and preschools, parenting skills, and many more. Last year 35-40 exhibitors participated in the fair.

All school-aged children from Van Buren Community Schools, Harmony Community Schools and children home schooled in Van Buren County will receive a free school supply voucher. Handouts promoting health and safety will be given to each child as well as other community services.  A free book and backpack will be given to each student who attends the fair (child MUST be present).  A raffle will also take place where prizes will be given away being donated by the various vendors. 

This event promotes the many resources we have available to the children of Van Buren County. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer please call 319-293-8727.