By Marian Firke
Program Coordinator (Prevention and Education)
Preventing and recognizing child sexual abuse remains a critical concern for many educators, clinicians, and parents throughout Maryland. In order to keep Maryland's children safe, it is essential that youth-serving agencies and organizations implement policies designed to prevent child sexual abuse, educate staff members about recognizing the signs of abuse, and adopt clear policies that outline employees' and volunteers' reporting requirements.
MCASA continues to support child sexual abuse prevention efforts statewide. As part of these efforts, we have developed an updated version of our on-line training program, Preventing, Identifying, and Reporting Child Sexual Abuse in Maryland
. This self-paced training, first released in 2014, is Maryland-specific and is tailored for the needs of counselors, teachers, and others working with children. The updated version includes pertinent legal updates, as well as a more user-friendly interface. MCASA is proud to continue offering this tool and appreciates the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for continued support of this project.
While we hope that the on-line training option will make this material more accessible to broad audiences, we recognize that many groups will require more detailed information or personalized approaches. Within Maryland, MCASA also provides in-person trainings to organizations, institutions, and agencies seeking to learn more about childhood sexual abuse prevention. Topics addressed in these trainings can include red flags of grooming behaviors by offenders, sexual assault warning signs, and how to comply with Maryland's reporting laws. Trainings can also be co-presented with an attorney from MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI
). For more information about MCASA's on-line and in-person training offerings, please call 301-328-7023 or email [email protected]
This article was featured in the Winter 2016 Edition