Stewards 2.0 Focus Groups a Success!
Three focus groups were held in Charleston, South Carolina on June 24th and 25th, and two were held in Dayton, Ohio on July 8th and 9th. The groups were made up of parents, teachers, faith community, youth-serving organizations, and child welfare professionals. Participants first experienced the Stewards of Children training, and then participated in a discussion panel moderated by an independent focus group moderator. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we have been able to incorporate many of their suggestions into the final product.
The Four Tools, Transformed
Charting a new course for the next era in child sexual abuse prevention training was no small undertaking. Our society is clearly more willing to acknowledge the existence of child sexual abuse and to recognize that something needs to be done. With that in mind, along with a significant amount of feedback from users and non-users, we made structural changes that will uniquely equip Stewards of Children for another 10 years of prevention education. Consciousness, Choice, Personal Power, and Relentless Compassion have been transformed into 3 empowerment skills that adults must call upon to protect children: Making Choices, Taking Risks, and Supporting Each Other.
Making Choices: Child sexual abuse happens as a result of choices we make. We make choices every day - in families and in organizations - that result in children being protected from sexual abuse, or potentially exposed to it. If we want healthy, happy children, we have to make proactive choices that prepare and protect them.
Taking Risks: Many choices we make to prevent child sexual abuse, or react to it, involve taking personal risks. Taking risks means we have to take actions we've never taken before, and we're not sure what the results will be. Some examples are talking with our children about sexual boundaries, addressing an adult who is crossing a child's boundaries, or making an actual report. These actions can feel like a risk. We may have fear or uncertainty. But we have to take these actions to have safe, happy children - and healthy communities. Taking the risk to protect children causes us to grow as people, and it makes children safer.
Supporting Each Other: Many of us won't take really big steps to protect children unless we know we'll have support. Often when people don't protect children, it's because they are not sure if others will support them, and back them up. Will I offend a coworker? How can I support my kids if I leave my partner? Will people ridicule the boundaries I have for my children? These are the kind of concerns and barriers people face. Support from others can help. 'Supporting each other' means giving support to others' efforts to prevent sexual abuse, and asking for support when we need it.
The 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children
In addition to the three new empowerment skills, we have also simplified the 7 Steps, making them easier to teach and more memorable for participants. Please welcome the new 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children™:
1. Learn the Facts: 1 in 10 children are sexually abused. Over 90% of them know their abuser.
2. Minimize Opportunity: Eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations to decrease risk for abuse.
3. Talk About It: Have open conversations with children about our bodies, sex, and boundaries.
4. Recognize the Signs: Know the signs of abuse to protect children from further harm.
5. React Responsibly: Understand how to respond to risky behaviors and suspicions or reports of sexual abuse.
Stewards of Children
A new era in child sexual abuse prevention education!
A New Prevalence Statistic
As you know, there has been much discussion around the reported decline in child sexual abuse in the last decade. It has been difficult to make sense of all the conflicting information and diverse public opinion on the evidence. The widely cited "1 in 4" and "1 in 6" statistics are outdated, and a new prevalence statistic is needed that is supported by the very best research available.
To responsibly put forth a new prevalence statistic, we completed a comprehensive research study that provided a basis for a credible child sexual abuse prevalence rate indicating that about 1 in 10 children (7.5%– 11.7%) will be sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. This statistic was derived from an evaluation of 16 studies, resulting in a final cohort of six studies all conducted within the last few years by reputable researchers in the field of child maltreatment. Please take the time to read the complete white paper to ensure your full understanding of the new prevalence rate. In August, we will provide you with answers to frequently asked questions about the new statistic. Please email any questions to facilitatorsupport@D2L.org.
Re-authorization Training for Facilitators
Facilitators will be required to take an online re-authorization training, accessible from your Facilitator Dashboard. The training is 2.5 hours, and there is no charge to take it. After completing the online course, you will be prompted to purchase a re-authorization kit for $10, plus shipping. The re-authorization kit includes the new facilitator guide with the new Stewards of Children DVD, as well as a new Stewards of Children Interactive Workbook. The re-authorization training will be available in mid August; an exact date will be provided soon.