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Redirection

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WSVN -- Obdilia Gonzalez gets along with daughter Mariposa now, but two years ago things were a lot different.

Obdelia Gonzalez, Mariposa's Mom: "She used to hit walls, breaking doors, walls. She was a very aggressive person and she didn't respect me at all."

The breaking point came when the 15-year-old went too far.

Mariposa: "I got arrested for domestic violence. I was going at it with my mother. I was like, oh my God, how did I get myself in this situation?"

But she got lucky. Instead of being sent to a juvenile center, her probation officer suggested a state program called Redirection.

A therapist visited Mariposa's home every week

Juliet Araujo, Redirection Therapist: "We work with the entire family. We not only work with the individual kid, we work with sometimes three generations."

Sessions focus on improving parenting skills.

Juliet Araujo: "So, how did it go this week?"

And building better communication between family members.

Mariposa: "It opened up my eyes. You can't be aggressive. You can't be grudging. You have to express yourself and communicate."

Dr. Valerie Goodie says the redirection program is great because it teaches teens and their families how to move in the right direction.

Dr. Val Tape: "Rather than always punishing, which is not effective, we're now trying to heal the family and that helps the child heal as well."

Two years into the program and Mari has a job, plans for her future and even better, big fights with her mom are a thing of the past.

Obdelia Gonzalez: "We're doing great. Right now we do a lot of stuff and she respects me."

Giving them the tools to move together toward a better future.

When therapy is done at home through redirection, it saves the state $30,000 per child. Total savings to the state since the program began in 2004, $51.2 million.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Dr. Valerie Goodewww.drvaleriegoode.com

Redirection Programhttp://www.djj.state.fl.us/Probation/redirection.html

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