A Community Based Response to Keeping Children Safe

Categories: Board, Guest Blog

Ignite 2017 will welcome child sexual abuse professionals and experts, researchers, and individuals from across the country who share a commitment to the prevention of child sexual abuse. The conference will engage attendees on a national level to enhance their knowledge of child sexual abuse prevention as well as provide advanced training, connect successful community initiatives together, and help individuals bring the best ideas back to their communities.

Darkness to Light is honored to welcome Patty Dailey Lewis this October as a presenter in Atlanta. We asked Patty to share some insights on The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children and how communities can best prevent children from being sexually abused. Patty will present “How to Respond When a Child Sexual Abuse Crisis Affects Your Community” in Atlanta. 

 

 

The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children was created to honor the life of Joseph R. “Beau” Biden, III, and to continue his life’s work: ensuring that all children are free from the threat of abuse.

We believe, as Beau did, that no child should be threatened by a predator – either an adult or a peer – and that child abuse is preventable.

We believe the best way to prevent child abuse is to educate adults and children.

We believe the time is now to identify and train the next generation of child welfare professionals.

We believe strengthening national child protection laws is an urgent, attainable goal.

Beau believed in our better angels. He knew the first lines of defense for a child who is bullied are that child’s peers. He knew every child was capable of courage, but that courage without confidence does not inspire action. We will work in schools to teach children skills, and to give them tools and procedures that result in the confidence to report, and stop, bullying.

Raising awareness of the scourge of child abuse isn’t easy; children who are bullied and victims of sexual abuse are experts at camouflaging their emotions.  The Beau Biden Foundation works to teach adults to recognize signs of abuse, and implement effective strategies to protect children from becoming victims.

Implementation of programming to educate the community on keeping children safe is an essential component of insuring child safety.  As Attorney General, Beau Biden joined with other child serving organizations to lead a community wide effort to educate 5% of Delaware’s population in Stewards of Children®, and the Beau Biden Foundation continues his mission. Beau considered the linchpins of prevention education as educating children and young adults to practice digital safety, through appropriate digital practices and interactions and by preventing and interrupting bullying, and educating adults to keep children safe from abuse.

Community based prevention education can best be described as utilizing the spokes on the wheel that make the community function: educational institutions- primary secondary and colleges and universities, law enforcement, including our military organizations,  the medical community, child and family serving organizations, and families directly. Programming is most effectively deployed, not in a scattershot way, but in a planned, comprehensive method that includes all of these organizations – the spokes on the wheel – to create the community that Beau believed would best demonstrate child protection focus and prevent child abuse. Approaching each group and explaining their significant role solving protecting children likewise requires an organized implementation plan.

How the issue of child abuse, the consequences to children and society effect education, health, public safety and the lives our children live every day enables every community organization to recognize the vital role each plays in keeping children safe.

Patricia Dailey Lewis, Esq. is the Executive Director of The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. Prior to this position, Mrs. Lewis served as Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Family Division of the Delaware Department of Justice (DDOJ). Mrs. Lewis has worked in the field of family and child advocacy and protection since 1985, when she joined the Delaware Department of Justice. Prior to being the Division Director, she was the Statewide Leader for the Families at Risk Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice.

An impassioned advocate for children, she has served as a commissioner on the Child Protection Accountability Commission, the Child Death, Near Death, and Stillbirth Commission, the Governor’s Steering Committee for the Protection of Children, the Victims Advisory Council, and more. Since 1989, Dailey Lewis has served as an Adjunct Professor at Delaware Law School. Mrs. Lewis is an authorized and active Facilitator of Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® child sexual abuse prevention program.

Mrs. Lewis resides in Wilmington, DE, and is married to Lawrence W. Lewis, Esquire. They have one daughter.

 

 


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