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Child Abuse and Neglect: Service Learning Experience

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Corey Broker

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of Child Abuse and Neglect: Service Learning Experience

The Brigid Collins Family Support Center Interpretation and Analysis Reflections •Our Mission: To empower people to prevent child sexual abuse. Our programs raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. There are many different programs and organizations dedicated to helping prevent child sexual abuse. Some of these programs, though well intentioned, are ineffective for young children. Programs such as 'Stranger Danger' are too broad and generalized for children. The Brigid Collins Darkness to Light training program focuses on what adults can do to help prevent child sexual abuse. Many parents and adults believe “It can't happen in my family. I could tell if someone I know is an abuser.” Yet in more than 90% of sexual abuse cases the child and the child's family know and trust the abuser.

•The program includes a video guide and booklet to lead you through the 7 steps. The video includes personal testimonies and real life situations. The video also includes many facts and statistics about child sexual abuse. A facilitator is required to help with any questions and lead discussions. The booklet is a work book that participants go through as the video progresses.
•The Darkness to Light training is offered to adults to help educate and prepare them to protect children from sexual abuse. The Darkness to Light training program puts the responsibility in the hands of the adults. This program is designed to create
resilience and confidence in the adults of a community. Given the tools
and strategies, adults can be advocates for children and armed to respond. Seven steps 1: Learn the Facts and
Understand the Risks 2:Minimize Opportunity 3: Talk About It 4: Stay Alert 5: Make a Plan 6: Act on Suspicion 7: Get Involved "It is unrealistic to think that a young child can take responsibility for fending off sexual advances by an adult. Adults are responsible for the safety of children. Adults are the ones who need to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Yet, the statistics clearly show that adults aren’t shouldering this responsibility. Darkness to Light believes that adults just don’t know how." www.D2L.org Values of the Program Links to Text Outcomes Participating in and learning about the Darkness to Light training, showed me how valuble this program is. Many adults can't protect their children simply because they do not know how. This program is informative, encouraging, and comprehensive. It sends a positive message to adults to take responsibility of the safety of children. Taking this program gave me what I hoped it would not only by informing me of what I can do as a teacher and advocate ofor children, but also by being an example of a protective factor for children in a community. I believe that the outcomes of this program will be beneficial for the adults who participate and for the community it is involved with. It is clear that the Darkness to Light program fosters the support of families and community memebers to be educated on sexual abuse. "If it's preventable, we should stop it." • Educating adults on facts
and relevence.

• Providing skills and steps
to prevent child sexual abuse

• Building a Resilient Community

• Raising awareness

• Encouraging parents • Society supporting families
"Family support programs see
that the best and most effective ways
to foster resilience in youth is to
foster it in the family caregivers."
Our text highlights the point that
giving families the tools and
knowledge to be good parents gives
them the courage and confidence
to do well. This program gives people
the confidence to be protectors
of all children. If adults have high
expectations from the community
they will be encouraged to participate
in these programs and spread awareness. "After people become convinced they have
what it takes to succeed, they persevere in
the face of adversity and quickly rebound from
setbacks. By sticking it out through tough times,
they emerge stronger from adversity." Bandura Community resilence-
Darkness to Light and programs like
it create a strong and resilient community. "High expectations in the community take place on several levels: in the community generally, in community youth-serving organizations, and through community initiatives." By providing these programs and involving the community, the message will be sent that the adults in the community are educated and armed to protect their
children. "The best way to prevent problems is not to narrowly reduce risks, but to broadly strengthen the individual, family, and community assets that young people have in their lives." Karen Pittman & Merita Irby. • Importance of parents and families- Programs such as Darkness to Light, emphasis the importance and neccessity of family resilience. "High expectations in families can provide the guidance that can contribute to a young person's safety, can communicate an attitude of believing in the child's worth and competence, and can be the catalyst for helping a young person to find her or his strengths." A family is a child's first and foremost environment and should be based on family resilience. Documentation/Observations Service Learning Strategies and approaches Still Wondering.. I believe that our service learning opportunities were both educational and informative. Taking the Darkness to Light program was a very good experience for me because there were many facts and stratistics I was unaware of. While it was helpful for me, I was also able to see how impactful a program like that is to a community and to adults. Participating in the service learning experiences, gave me hands on and real life ideas about resiliency and protective factors for children. Seeing the multitude of opportunities for parents and families to protect children is encouraging and motivating. The Darkness to Light program especially highlights the importance of education and training for adults. I believe all adults would benefit from taking this class. On a personal level I believe that the program ilicits motivation and skills to be protectors. On a bigger level I think that having these programs in a community sends the message to abusers that they will be found and that the community is armed to find them. The seven step strategy implemented by Darkness to Light is a comprehensible and organized method of teaching adults. The steps are clear and distinct. I think that the Darkness to Light approach to protecting children will motivate adults to become educated and spread the word to others. The video shown in the training used personal stories to help incorporate the step tutorial. I believe that using real people's experiences helps create a sense of need and reality for other adults. After participating in the service learning opportunities, I feel that I have learned about how resiliency can be fostered in a community. Some things I am still wondering are
- How organizations encourage parents to take classes and training in the community.
- What the impacts are of programs like Darkness to Light in areas with high risk.
I feel that these programs indirectly support children by educating adults and parents. I understand that many programs have been ineffective for children. I am wondering and would like to do more research on strategies and policies I can hold as a teacher to help teach children about ownership of their bodies. I would also like to learn how to teach young children it is ok to say 'NO" while maintaining appropriate guidelines. References -Hirschy, S. T., & Wilkinson, E. (2010). Protecting our children: understanding and preventing abuse and neglect in early childhood (Student ed.). Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth.

-Benard, B. (2004). Resiliency: What we have Learned. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.

-State:. (n.d.). Prevent Child Sexual Abuse - Darkness to Light . Prevent Child Sexual Abuse - Darkness to Light . Retrieved May 15, 2011, fromhttp://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICI

-Child Sexual Abuse. (n.d.). Home | University of Calgary. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from http://www.ucalgary.ca/resolve/violenceprevention/English/reviewprog/childsxintro.htm Researchers have examined parental knowledge of sexual abuse and their interest in receiving more education on the topic (Elrod & Rubin, 1993). The main source of knowledge about sexual abuse for parents was the media, but this resource left parents with some significant deficits.(http://www.ucalgary.ca/resolve/violenceprevention/English/reviewprog/childsxintro.htm) A wonderful aspect of the family support movement is that these hundreds of family support programs are incredibly diverse, arising locally but applying global resilience principles.
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