What can I do to help my child leave a gang?

Most gang members join a gang because it meets certain needs in their life. There are a variety of reasons for joining, but once a person realizes that those needs can be met in other ways, the gang may lose its appeal. The young person may decide they no longer want to be a gang member. Here are a few suggestions to help, after deciding to quit the gang:

  • Find supportive family members or friends.
  • Never tell the gang that the young person wants out or is planning to leave.
  • Encourage the young person to spend time doing other things such as sports, school or family activities.
  • Encourage the young person to stop looking and dressing like a gangster.
  • Encourage the young person to stop hanging out with/talking like gangsters and to find other people to hang out with.
  • The young person may make excuses when gang members try to contact him/her. Have a family member say that he/she is gone or busy. Don't return calls and if asked why, say that the message was never received.
  • Consider transferring to another school if gang members attend the same school.

Show All Answers

1. What is a gang?
2. Who belongs to gangs?
3. Why do young people join gangs?
4. How can I identify gang members?
5. How can I help my child say "no" to gangs?
6. What are the consequences of being in a gang?
7. What can I do if I suspect my child is part of a gang?
8. What can I do to help my child leave a gang?