Major milestones in child sexual abuse prevention were a part of 2022 for Darkness to Light and we are honored to have shared them with you.
As we look back on some of the highlights of 2022 it is evident that our mission, to equip and empower adults to build safe environments that protect children from sexual abuse, drives everything that we do.
The much-anticipated update to Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® Online was released in January. The upgrades to Stewards of Children® Online better equip you to utilize prevention practices in the real world through a modern and innovative approach to prevention education. Participants walk away with tangible tools, strategies, and even scripts to use. Whether you interact with children regularly or not, the revised training teaches you how to naturally integrate child protection into your life. If you have yet to experience the new training, you can take it here.
Darkness to Light expanded our resources through Child Safety Pledge, a platform to specifically meet the needs of parents and caregivers as they protect the children in their care. We were so excited about this newest addition to the Darkness to Light brand family because parents lacked a comprehensive resource for keeping kids safe from danger and abuse. We knew parents care about their child’s safety and while there is an overwhelming amount of information for preventing illness or injury to children available online, there are very few all-in-one resources for child protection. The Child Safety Pledge platform is filling those gaps by providing easy and accessible resources parents need–and want as their children grow. You’ll find developmentally focused resources for every stage of childhood with an ever-growing learning hub that offers tools for dealing with child sexual abuse, just as Darkness to Light is known for, as well as safety insights for many other forms of harm and danger to children.
Since 2004, Stewards of Children® has played a pivotal role in the protection of children from child sexual abuse in thousands of youth serving organizations. In August, we launched of Beyond Stewards of Children,™ a new training to help those organizations take their protection game to the next level. As its name suggests, Beyond Stewards of Children™ goes beyond the concepts presented in Stewards of Children®, digging deeper into practical applications of the 5 Steps to Protecting Children™. Additional sections were added within the training that extend learning on creating a prevention-oriented community and applying trauma informed strategies. The training uses a hybrid learning approach – a combination of asynchronous eLearning (learners learn on their own online) and a facilitated debrief session (virtual or in-person learning with a facilitator)- so that participants experience training that applies best practices in adult learning theory.
In September, we began bringing together those with lived experience and professionals in the area of child sexual abuse prevention to Charleston to begin filming content for the next version of Stewards of Children®. What happened during our time together was nothing short of magical. We cannot wait to show you the revised curriculum in the spring of 2023.
After taking a short hiatus, we brought our popular Honest Conversation series back. Tanyelle Gill, the Senior Director of Marketing and Development, hosted a discussion with three experts to delve into the topic of child sexual abuse prevention for foster and adopted children. We were joined by; Julie Beem, the Executive Director of the Attachment & Trauma Network, Barb Clark, Parent Support and Training Specialist at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), and Dr. Wayne D. Duehn, Professor Emeritus of Social Work.
We brought back our annual prevention conference, but this year it was under a new name and partnership with the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Envision brought together diverse child advocates and organizations and will empower them to prevent child sexual abuse using a public health approach. Envision 2022 focused on the importance of communication in preventing child sexual abuse because we felt that effective communication engages and empowers us to work together to keep kids safe from harm.
In addition to many workshops, we also had three keynote addresses including ones from; Anthony Edwards, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning Actor, Director, and Producer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, 1in6, Rosie Hidalgo, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence, White House Gender Policy Council, and Daniela Ligiero, PhD, Executive Director and CEO, Together for Girls.
With the holiday season here, we send our deepest thanks and appreciation to those who made our work in 2022 possible and the commitment we share of protecting children. We could not do this work without you! We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season.