We are now offering Stewards of Children Training to Community Groups.
Darkness to Light’s Steward of Children Training is a prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
The program is designed for organizations the serve youth and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. It is the only nationally distributed, evidence based, program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors.
Our certified and award winning facilitator, Sarah Ortiz, has conducted several classes in the community; youth serving organizations, faith based organizations, parks and recreations, College of Southern Maryland and all Charles County School Staff Members have received this training.
This two hour class is divided into five parts based on the five steps to protecting our children and how they are applicable to each agency.
These steps include :
Step #1 Learn the Facts
Step #2 Minimize Opportunity
Step #3 Talk About It
Step #4 Recognize the Signs
Step #5 React Responsibly
Step #1, Learn the Facts,
During this session we educate the audience about the statistics of child sexual abuse. This is to help them understand that they may know someone who is being abused. Experts estimate that about 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
Step #2, Minimize Opportunity,
In this portion of the class we go in depth about the policies and procedures which are in place to protect the children at each organization. We have an honest conversation about which policies are being implemented and which are being over seen.
Step #3, Talk About It,
Here, we discuss how to start conversations at home with your own children, and how to have open age appropriate conversations about our bodies, sex, and boundaries.
Step #4, Recognize the Signs,
During step #4 we discuss the signs of sexual abuse to protect children from further harm. Children who have been, or are being, abused may show signs that we would typically label as difficult, or bad, behavior. It is important to take the time, with sensitivity and patience, to ask what’s bothering them or just to check in and see how things are going at home.
Step #5, React Responsibly,
Discusses how to respond to disclosures, discoveries, and suspicions of sexual abuse. We discussed not over reacting when a child discloses abuse to you. We discussed simple responses that are supportive such as “I believe you” and “What happened is not your fault.”
Disclosure is an important time during a child’s life. That child has chosen you as a person he or she trusts enough to talk to. At that point, we encourage you to listen to what the child has to say, not ask further questions; and to take that information and make a report to child protective services and/or law enforcement.
We know that ending child sexual abuse takes a cooperative, community effort. We will cause a tremendous reduction in child sexual abuse in our lifetimes when we take the five steps together.
For information about how your can bring this training to your organization, please contact Sarah Ortiz at 301-609-9887 ext. 134.