Effective abuse prevention training provides learners with new information, knowledge, and skills. Your leadership is critical to the ways in which these new skills and awareness are encouraged, applied, and become part of the institutional “mindset” of your organization, supporting best-practice behaviors that protect children/youth.
Here are some strategies to consider:
- Ensure that knowledge and skills gained through training are reflected in the daily practices of your managers, employees, volunteers, and children/youth served.
- Make training content evident in personnel performance measures.
- Meld elements of your organization’s philosophy or mission with your child sexual abuse training. For example, a faith-based organization may incorporate elements of its beliefs in the training.
- Integrate the training content into new staff or volunteer orientation and connect it to their specific work or service roles.
- Partner with child abuse prevention organizations to connect to resources.
Organizational planning, policy, and practices should support the required vigilance, communication, and actions necessary to keep children/youth safe, and provide feedback to all stakeholders. The goal is that the combination of information, knowledge, and practice leads to the development of skills and behavioral changes—and the adoption of personal and organizational responsibility—for child sexual abuse prevention and intervention.
The “Training Continuum” chart below provides a visual framework for the continuum of information, knowledge, application, and skills that well-designed training programs can support. Trainees need to understand the context of why the training exists and why it’s important—not simply that it’s required by your organization. Information about indicators, symptoms, boundaries, and resources tells your employees and volunteers what to look for, how to recognize sexual abuse and other forms of maltreatment, and to whom to report when it is suspected or observed.
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