NAC embraces Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training
The statistics are staggering with 1 in 10 children experiencing sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. In 90% of cases, the abuser is someone the child and likely the family knows and trusts.
Realizing that prevention is the answer, Darkness to Light, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to end child sexual abuse, developed the Stewards of Children (SOC) child sexual abuse prevention training. This unique program empowers adults and teaches them how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, emphasizing that child safety is EVERY adult’s responsibility. SOC is the only nationally distributed evidence based prevention program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors.
Dr. Robin Saltzman is a NAC member and authorized SOC facilitator. She is working with the Bucks County Community Coalition (organizations & concerned individuals) which is partnering with Darkness to Light to bring SOC child sexual abuse prevention training to our communities here in Bucks County. Their short-term goal is to train 5% of the people in Bucks County. They are targeting organizations that serve youth and individuals concerned about the safety of children. Though the subject matter is undoubtedly intense, SOC presents the material in a way that is empowering and not fear-focused or depressing. Additional information can be found on the Darkness to Light website at www.D2L.org
Training at the NAC
In early 2014, Robin approached the NAC about SOC training initially for their staff, and with the hopes that SOC awareness/training would be available to all NAC members. Linda Mitchell referred Robin to Jessie Westfall, Kids Club Director, who enthusiastically embraced SOC and was eager to begin the training of her Kids Club Staff. Working with Kate Golden, NAC HR Director, the goal was set to train all the NAC staff that interact/care for children, and then to reach out to the NAC members. Over the past 2 years Robin has facilitated face to face SOC training at the NAC, and discussion groups for NAC staff who have taken the online SOC training. NAC staff who have been trained in SOC thus far work in various departments including the Kids Club, Gymnastics, Aquatics, Kid Fit, Adaptive Fitness, Parties, RockStarz, Camp NAC, Parisi, NAC Sports Training Center Gallagher Baseball, Crossfit S.A.M., Youth Programs and Dance.
Training for NAC members and the community
In an effort to keep all of our children safe, the NAC is now sponsoring SOC training for NAC members. A free online option, which can be taken anywhere, at any time, by anyone, is available through Darkness to Light until the end of 2015; thereafter, the fee for the online training is $10. Robin will hold an optional follow-up 45-60 minute discussion at the NAC for those who have completed the training to summarize/highlight the key points and address any questions. For those who prefer the face-2-face training, Robin will facilitate those sessions as well; the cost for the interactive SOC workbook is $10. Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training is 2 hours containing a mix of survivor stories, expert advice, and practical guidance for prevention of child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is a tough topic. Some of the survivor stories may affect you in a personal way. These stories reflect the personal experiences of actual survivors. These are the experiences children face when they are sexually abused, thus Darkness to Light choose to include them.
Click here for the online Stewards of Children Prevention Training
Click here to find a user guide with instructions on how to access your unique login page and create a user account, and how to take the online training. In addition, the following website will provide you with information on the new child protective laws and the requirements for organizations and individuals.
Click here to view a Community Resource Sheet for Bucks County. Someone is available for you to talk to about any needs you have through the Darkness to Light helpline at 1-866-FOR-LIGHT (1-866-367-5444).
For those interested in the Face-2-Face training please contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org, and include “NAC SOC facilitated training” in the subject.
Feel free to pass this information about SOC prevention training to anyone who you feel may be interested. If you know of an organization that you feel could benefit from the Stewards of Children prevention training, please let Robin (email@example.com) know and she will reach out to the organization.