Education & Outreach

One first step toward reducing the staggering number of abuse victims is through education and awareness. Too many cases of child sexual abuse go unreported. Many adults charged with safeguarding our most vulnerable population don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse or don’t know how to respond. Some are afraid to get involved not realizing the devastating consequences to a child when an adult doesn’t have the courage to take action on a child’s behalf.

The agency’s Education and Outreach Program is committed to providing professionals, parents, caregivers and the community with knowledge about the dynamics and myths of the complex issue of child sexual abuse as well as on what to look for and how to respond if sexual abuse is suspected.

Some of these program initiatives include:

Community Outreach

It is important for parents to talk to children, know the signs and symptoms and know who to call should they have any concerns. Schools, health fairs and a variety of family-based community events serve as some of the locations we are disseminating multi-lingual child abuse prevention materials.

Mental Health Capacity Building Program

The agency has been recognized as a regional provider and leader of providing mental health clinicians with free training on evidence-based trauma treatment modalities such as TF-CBT, ARC and SMART. The agency continues to expand the number of trained mental health clinicians receiving referrals from the agency. Since our inception in 2007, more than 150 clinicians from over 12 agencies have received training.

Mandated Reporter Training

Our goal is to equip first responders with a best practice response to ensure the safety of the child as well as ensuring that an efficient and effective investigation takes place.

The state of Massachusetts law requires mandated reporters to file an oral report immediately when they believe a child under 18 is suffering from abuse or neglect. A written report is required within 48 hours. Mandated reporters include, but are not limited to, physicians and medical personnel, early education, preschool and child care staff, public or private school teachers and administration, guidance or family counselors, clergy, psychiatrists or any mental health professional, firefighters, police and many others.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) 101 Training

CSEC (human trafficking) is a type of child sexual abuse and the CAC manages the case coordination for all reported CSEC cases in Bristol County. The identification of CSEC victims is crucial to ensure that these victims receive the appropriate supports and services. The goal of this training is to assist the community and professionals in effectively identifying and responding to suspicions of CSEC. This training offers information on defining CSEC, the nature and frequency of CSEC, identifying risk factors for victimization, recognizing indicators that a youth is a CSEC victim and aims to equip adults with an understanding of mandated reporting laws and their role as a first responder to suspected CSEC.

Cyber Safety: Do’s and Don’ts for Keeping Safe from Online Predators

Digital devices are great for instant communication with friends and family and our online world can be a fun place to socialize. However, the internet is a place where many unsafe people and situations can be found. Participants in this training will learn about the following: safe posting dos and don’ts; sexting and the related legal and social risks; and gain knowledge and understanding of online predators and grooming in an effort to reduce dangers to youth online.

Parent & Caregiver Education

Most parents don’t think twice about teaching their children how to cross the street safely. Teaching children how to keep their bodies safe from sexual abuse should be just as natural. This session aims to empower caregivers with the knowledge and tools needed to begin this difficult conversation. Topics include: Abuse statistics, facts/myths, caretaker choices, how to talk to your child (including proper terms for private body parts), signs and symptoms of child abuse, and how to respond to a disclosure or suspected abuse.

Darkness to Light

Stewards of Children: an educational program for adults in the community to increase knowledge and awareness about sexual abuse. This prevention training features real people and real stories about protecting children from sexual abuse. Visit https://www.d2l.org/education/stewards-of-children/ for more information.

Resource Assistance

The Center serves as a public clearinghouse as a child abuse expert resource for concerned parents, professionals or anyone needing guidance and advice on the subject of child abuse, how to navigate the complex systems or even requiring a referral for a credentialed mental health clinician. The Pediatric Sexual assault Nurse Examiner (Pedi-SANE) is available to provide consultation and education to medical community partners for training on rape kit use for local emergency departments and speaking to nurses and other medical personnel.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County is often present at local community events. Come by and receive educational tools, along with a free coloring book and pinwheel!

Training or professional development training required at your school or business?

Call Us today

(508) 674-6111

Early and swift connection to a credentialed mental health clinician who knows how to treat children who have been the victim of trauma offers the best outcome of resiliency

Please view our Training Menu for more information.