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YMCAs take child protection very seriously. Their extensive policies and attention to safety regarding every program and service make them a leader in "state of the art" child protection policy. They also know that this alone does not keep children safe in their communities. They instead recognize the need for leadership at every level to be involved and engaged in protecting children from sexual abuse. With the health and well being of children and families at the heart of their mission and a long history of tackling tough community issues, Ys across the country are stepping up to convene leaders and engage the entire community in prevention.
Tackling the issue of child sexual abuse isn't easy, but the Hockomock Area YMCA is taking a positive, proactive role by providing Stewards of Children training to adults in several Massachusetts communities. "We feel it's very important and it's the kind of thing we take a lot of pride in at our YMCA. We're bringing folks together so we can make an impact on our community," says Hockomock Y President Ed Hurley.
Teaming up to support these local Y efforts, D2L and The Redwoods Group Foundation are providing tools and resources to help YMCAs operationalize wide spread community awareness and education. Our vision is that Ys, serving as the natural conveners, bring together community leaders, other local child-serving organizations, and policy makers as partners in prevention. This exciting collaboration is empowering communities with a strategy and a model for creating and sustaining positive change in the protection of children from child sexual abuse.