The best way to keep children safe is to educate the public about child abuse. Child abuse education services are offered through community presentations and meetings so that the public will be better able to recognize when abuse may be occurring and to know how to report suspected abuse. Staff members present programs to civic, community, and church groups about the services of “Almost Home” and the Regional CAC and provide information and statistics about child abuse and neglect in the three-county region. Additionally, brochures, booklets, and books on all aspects of child abuse including signs, treatment, prevention, and recovery are available to children and families receiving services at the CAC and the public upon request.
The in-school program, the “Someone To Talk To” puppet program, is presented yearly to 3rd-grade classes in the region. The program involves a puppet video and then talking to the children using the puppets to educate them on touches and behaviors that are not OK and let them know that there are safe adults they can talk to if abuse or neglect happens to them. Also, an age-appropriate program is presented to Head Start Programs when requested.
In 2015, the Regional CAC began SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) program that is presented to students in 5th, 7th and 9th grades. SCAN educates these students on how to recognize child abuse and on safety rules if they find themselves in uncomfortable situations. It also helps them understand internet safety and how to use technology responsibly.