It’s been a week since Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane released her report on the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse investigation, and while it generated a lot of debate, one section of the report has gone virtually unnoticed.
The section, 10 pages long, details recommendations on what law enforcement, human service agencies and others can do to better protect children against abuse.
Andrea Boyles of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau has been on the front lines of child abuse reporting, especially since the Jerry Sandusky scandal rocked the Centre region nearly three years ago.
Boyles said as long as child abuse is being discussed, whether as a continued result of the scandal or otherwise, it can be a benefit to children. “As long as we’re talking about it, I firmly believe children are safer because if children know adults can talk about it, then they can tell us they need help,” Boyles said.
The Youth Service Bureau has received more calls for help and services in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Boyles said. The bureau has seen little increase in their operating budget and no increase in staffing.
That has led to the bureau partnering with other agencies to help kids in need, Boyles said. One of those programs has been Stewards of Children, a child sexual abuse prevention training created by Darkness to Light. Several agencies around Centre County have teamed up to offer this training, which helps adults better understand how to recognize and report child sexual abuse.
So far, more than 4,000 have completed the Stewards of Children program in Centre County.