The Stewards of Children training program, which lasts about three hours, is an evidence-based lesson with three sections in which a video is viewed, followed by a workbook exercise and a discussion period. YMCA's thoughout Massachusetts are offering the course in an effort to reduce child sexual abuse in their communities. Next
Darkness to Light, the non-profit that offers Stewards of Children trainings, says that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they reach adulthood. Instances of abuse are very difficult to track though, because victims often never come forward. Next
Natalie Norton, the senior vice president of operations for the Greater Boston YMCA, said that people often don't realize that there are financial costs in addtion to the emotional costs when it comes to child sexual abuse.
“You look at the ramifications of that on the healthcare system around depression, and issues around [psychosis], all those types of things are burdens on the healthcare system as we go forward," she said. "The more we can do to prevent that, the better off we are long term, as a local community and as a nation really.”
Pictured: Darkness to Light offers a tool on their website that allows users to calculate an estimate of the financial cost of child sexual abuse in their communities. Next
Stewards of Children uses trained facilitators to train local residents. It costs around $350 to train a facilitator to lead a class and $10-25 to train a resident.
Jodi Crowley, a facilitator and member relations director of the North Suburban YMCA, estimated that the program will cost the YMCA about $20,000 this year for facilitator and participator training, and it will require fund-raising
Pictured: Crowley leads a discussion about child sexual abuse during a session at the North Suburban YMCA in Woburn. Next
Stewards of Children uses a workbook that reviews material addressed in the video. It includes the "7 Steps to Protecting our Children," the tools one can use to recognize and react to signs of child sexual abuse, and facts surrounding the subject.
For a list of locations that host Stewards of Children trainings, visit: http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6216651/k.5B9C/Prevention_in_Your_Area.htm Back to the beginning
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