By now, we hope that you’ve heard the exciting news that Darkness to Light is releasing the much-anticipated update to our flagship training Stewards of Children®, this April. Read our series on the 5 Reasons Why to learn about the various enhancements we’ve made to the learning experience.
Reason #2: It Includes More Diversity of Lived Experience
Child sexual abuse is an issue that affects children of all ages, religions, genders, and race. Therefore, it’s important that we shed a more diverse light on the lived experiences of individuals everywhere.
What Does It Mean that the Training is More Diverse?
You will see diversity in individuals with lived experience as you go through Stewards of Children®. The survivor stories and subject matter expert advice represent various ages, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities. You will also notice an intentionality towards inclusion. It is important to incorporate inclusive and accessible activities and learning methods that ultimately create a psychologically safe learning environment.
For the Participant
Stewards of Children® provides opportunities for you to see yourself in the training and that is a very powerful statement. When that happens, you can better connect to the messages you are hearing and that allows you to more deeply process the content. You become more motivated and display goal-oriented behaviors. And that is a win for children, because our ultimate goal at Darkness to Light is to protect all children!
The Authorized Facilitator begins the journey of connection with you. They nurture a psychologically safe learning environment where diverse participants can problem-solve together in a protected, shared space. As participants, you will find space to self-reflect and to share your unique perspectives. You will recognize your different spheres of influence where you wield tremendous power to enact protective behaviors all while appreciating what others have to offer.
In this shared space, you will also discover that there are nuances to prevention. Different communities may require different prevention strategies. What works for one may not work for another and it is through the group’s shared learning experience in Stewards of Children® that you will begin to see how to bridge those gaps and develop a prevention-oriented community.
You will find that in the NEW Stewards of Children® the instructions and activities are interactive with simplified text. Your Authorized Facilitator models respect for all and is conscious of strategies that allow everyone to have a voice – like, for example, allowing sufficient wait time as participants formulate responses. Their goal is to be your guide as you learn new skills to protect children.
Our inclusive design also allows participants to provide Darkness to Light with feedback. Our organization prides itself on having a growth mindset that guides everything we do. We value your feedback not only on the formal evaluation, but also through other feedback channels that are being created as you establish your prevention-oriented communities.
A Look to the Future
As the NEW Stewards of Children® is being introduced, we are already working on other ways to celebrate diversity and be inclusive. At the beginning of 2024, we will be introducing a culturally- relevant Spanish version of the training. We will also refine our online, asynchronous training for those who may not be able to attend in-person training, with the highest standards of accessibility in mind.
Our Authorized Facilitators will also find that we will continue to be responsive to their needs to reach diverse communities. We will not only add different ways to provide the NEW Stewards of Children®, but also provide ongoing culturally responsive professional development opportunities.
Learn more about the NEW Stewards of Children® with our training information sheet or by visiting the training’s dedicated webpage thenewstewards.org. Training requests are available! Details can be found on the Get Trained page.