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 #1: It’s More Trauma Informed
Darkness to Light has always been committed to delivering top notch prevention training through a trauma-informed lens. The NEW Stewards of Children® demonstrates our commitment to continued learning and the implementation of new trauma-informed best practices.
What Does It Mean to Be Trauma Informed?
Being trauma informed is more than acknowledging the likelihood that someone has been impacted by trauma at some point in their lives. It also means that we have incorporated specific strategies, so we do not retraumatize an individual or cause them more harm.
A trauma informed lens is not only important for those experiencing our training, but also helps prepare adults protecting children from child sexual abuse.
For the Participant
As a participant, you will learn trauma informed strategies to help you react responsibly to children when you suspect that child sexual abuse has occurred, when a child discloses sexual abuse or when you discover that child sexual abuse has occurred.
Your whole participant experience is also trauma informed. From the inclusion of a narrator rather than a host to the choice in music and scenic elements (more on this later), the availability of resources (including the Authorized Facilitator) to shorter video clips to help reduce the cognitive load of the adult learner.
Honoring Their Voices
While Darkness to Light has always honored the voice of the survivor, you will find that in the NEW Stewards of Children® we focus on the whole person, rather than their experience. Because their traumatic experience does not define them, you’ll see the shift in language from survivor to person or expert with lived experience, instead. Through this we show that healing is possible and that they are beyond surviving and are indeed thriving.
If you are a Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator, you will also notice more emphasis on vicarious trauma and the need for self-care. Not only in the training, but also in the Facilitator Support that is provided to you on an ongoing basis.
Quite a bit of research went into the use of music and video footage without interviews. Did you know that hearing sad music induces positive feelings? Music can contextualize the emotion being expressed, which can help us to process and regulate our own emotions. You will hear hopeful music as well and there are times when you will not hear any music at all. All those choices are purposeful, and trauma informed.
You will feel an immediate familiarity and connection to the curriculum, but the trauma informed changes will allow you to make better prevention choices. You will have an even stronger understanding and more context for why it is an adult’s responsibility to prevent child sexual abuse.
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.