We feel that adults are the ones equipped, both emotionally and intellectually, to really work to stop child sexual abuse. The safety of our children is the responsibility of adults and we have set up our organization with this in mind.
Youth serving organizations are magnets for offenders seeking access to children. Children who are sexually abused sometimes disclose the abuse to the adults working or volunteering for youth serving organizations. Training your employees and volunteers gives them the tools to prevent high risk situations from occurring and gives them the resources to spot the signs of possible abuse.
In Maryland, Stewards of Children attendees can receive two (2) CEUs. If your Stewards of Children participants wish to obtain CEU credit, they must sign in to the training on an attendance sheet and receive a certificate of completion.
Yes, it can. Many insurance agencies will offer a reduction in liability cost for participating in the Stewards of Children program. Please check with your insurance provider for the specific impact.
An accepted, clinical definition of primary prevention is “action taken to avoid or remove the cause of a health problem in an individual or a population before it arises. This includes health promotion and specific protection.”
In our case, we are avoiding a cause of a health problem by providing adults with specific actions they can take to remove the children in their care from high risk situations.
- To protect children in our care
- To protect the staff and volunteers from potential allegations of abuse
- To limit extent of legal liability
- Screening, Supervision, Reporting Procedures and a Response plan.
- Mandated Reporting guidelines
- Do not wait for proof.
- Do not probe for details.
- Do not indicate disbelief or anger.
- Explain actions you will take.
- Do not give false assurances.
- Do not contact suspected abuser.
- Your identity must be kept confidential by DSS and law enforcement.
- Ask your school social worker to help you make the report if you need to.
Fear of retribution, or lack of information about how and to whom to report.
Some individuals who suspect abuse incorrectly believe they need to have concrete proof before acting, or are afraid that the authorities will not believe them. Individuals also may fail to report because they don’t know what constitutes child abuse in their state, or how to look for evidence of a problem. In addition, the law isn’t always clear on how to report abuse.
I suspect a child i know is being sexually abused. What should i do?”]
Thank you for acting on your suspicions. If you believe a child in your care is suffering from sexual abuse, please call your local Child Protective Services or Police Department to make a report.
If you need to discuss your situation or have specific questions about making a report, please call Darkness to Light’s Helpline, 1-866-FORLIGHT (1-866-367-5444), the Helpline will direct you to resources in your community.
How does the Stewards of Children training compare to other programs offered such as the “Virtus” and “Safeguarding God’s Children”?
Virtus is a similar program offered in the Catholic church. Program delivery is very similar with a video, workbook and discussion. Virtus does includes perpetrators in the video, which doesn’t seem to be as empowering as discussion is often around the perpetrator.
One big difference between the programs is that Stewards has been scientifically evaluated for effectiveness.