Training Program Empowers People To Reduce Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is preventable, though most people are unsure what to do. The Safe Kids, Healthy Communities Workgroup of Webster Groves is hosting an empowering training for adults to build skills to respond responsibly in these situations. Parents, caregivers, people who work with and care about children are all invited to this free training on Saturday, October 7, 9:30am to noon, at Webster Groves Public Library, 301 E. Lockwood Ave., 63119.
The Stewards of Children® training program (https://www.thenewstewards.org/), created by Darkness to Light, is an evidence-informed, award-winning training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Statistics show that one in 10 children will experience sexual violence before their 18th birthday (see www.d2l.org). Child sexual abuse is a preventable public health issue. Early trauma and violence in the home, school or community can affect children throughout their entire lives.
Current child sexual abuse prevention efforts rely heavily on children protecting themselves – getting themselves out of uncomfortable situations and telling an adult if they have been harmed. This burden is often beyond their abilities and control and does not prevent the harm from happening in the first place. Stewards of Children® empowers the adults in children’s lives to create safe environments to prevent harm.
“This training provides concrete tools for parents and anyone working with children to create healthy and safe environments for children,” said Jenny Dodson-Weihl, JD, Safe Kids, Healthy Communities Workgroup co-leader. “Most child sexual abuse work to date has focused on treatment for victims and prosecuting perpetrators through the criminal justice system. While these actions are essential for healing and justice, our movement aims to ensure that all children are free to enjoy safe and healthy childhoods, at home and in outside activities. Our goal is to prevent harm from happening in the first place.”
The Stewards of Children curriculum has been significantly updated this year and offers a new experience to anyone who has taken it before. Through interviews with a diverse group of people with lived experiences, experts and treatment providers, Stewards of Children teaches adults practical actions they can take to reduce instances of child sexual abuse in their communities, families, and organizations. Learn more at https://www.thenewstewards.org/.
The training will be led by Jenny Dodson-Weihl. In addition to co-leading the Safe Kids, Healthy Communities, this Webster Groves resident is the Director of Prevention and Outreach for Missouri KidsFirst, the state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. She is also an Authorized Stewards of Children Facilitator.
Participating professionals may be eligible for 2.5 hours of continuing education. The training is approved through the Missouri Professional Development (MOPD) system (formerly the Missouri Workshop Calendar), and Children’s Division. Other professions may also qualify.
The training is open to the public (adults only) with a maximum of 30 seats. This free training is made possible by the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund. To register, visit https://conta.cc/468Nwf3 or www.communitysafetypladge/org/events.
Community Safety Pledge
This training opportunity is extension of the education and outreach efforts of The Safe Kids, Healthy Communities Workgroup. The Workgroup developed the Community Safety Pledge (www.communitysafetypledge.org), a movement designed to increase awareness of and educate the public about prevention of child sexual abuse. The group’s website seeks commitments from individuals and organizations to support safe environments and healthy relationships for all children. It also encourages organizations that work with children and youth to create their own safety code of conduct.
Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are among the most powerful, protective, and healing forces in a child’s life! These relationships— fostered at home, school and in the community—are the building blocks of a child’s physical and emotional growth.
The Community Safety Pledge seeks to strengthen these building blocks by promoting eight best practices.
For more information, contact:
Safe Kids, Healthy Communities Co-Leader