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Nicole S. Rowe
Administrative Assistant, Public Relations
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Wilmington University united with Attorney General Beau Biden to expand a statewide program to train adults to recognize and respond to the signs of child sexual abuse. University Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jim Wilson joined leaders from the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Delaware Technical Community College to commit to bringing the Stewards of Children training to their campuses to educate faculty, staff and students.
“It is not a child’s job to protect him or herself from abuse, it’s our job as adults,” Attorney General Biden said, noting that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Last September, Attorney General Biden, the YMCA of Delaware, and Prevent Child Abuse Delaware announced a collaborative partnership to train 35,000 Delawareans in the Stewards of Children program. At work in 48 states and 10 countries, the Stewards of Children program is designed to teach adults the signs of child sex abuse, as well as how to prevent and report suspected incidents.
Wilmington University officials take this issue seriously. "Wilmington University's commitment to the prevention of child maltreatment is evidenced by our pioneering effort to offer a Child Advocacy Studies certificate,” said Dr. Wilson. “The Stewards of Children program is another tool in our toolbox to educate the Wilmington University community to recognize and report suspected child abuse."
Wilmington University has taken the first steps in eradicating child abuse through the introduction of its Child Advocacy Studies Certificate (CAST), a program that began in the spring of 2011. Students, regardless of major, can register for the 15-credit certificate that consists of three core courses and two electives. Learning everything from recognizing the signs of child abuse to understanding the profiles of child abusers to interviewing skills, the students will be taught by experts in the field of child maltreatment and investigation. Wilmington University is among a small group of academic institutions that are offering courses in child abuse recognition and intervention. In fact, the University is only the 18th university in the country to offer a certificate in Child Advocacy Studies.
So far the Stewards of Children program has trained 2,000 Delawareans, including Department of Justice employees, 350 Family Court personnel and more than 100 firefighters and paramedics. Biden has asked the legislative Joint Finance Committee to appropriate $60,000 in the coming budget year so DOJ can train an additional 10,000 Delawareans in the Stewards of Children Program.
All reports of child abuse and neglect in the State of Delaware should be made to the 24-hour Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-292-9582. Individuals and organizations can learn more about the Stewards of Children program and schedule a training session by calling Prevent Child Abuse Delaware at 302-425-7490 or visiting www.pcadelaware.org.
Published: Friday, February 17, 2012 - New Castle, DE