The City of Germantown is now an acknowledged leader in keeping kids safe from child sexual abuse. It is the first city in the US to be designated as a Partner in Prevention by Darkness to Light as a result of a partnership with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.
Darkness to Light is a nonprofit child sexual abuse prevention organization that is nationally recognized as a leading provider of effective child sexual abuse prevention strategy. It created Stewards of Children, the only evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention training available.
Germantown collaborated with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center to provide Stewards of Children training to every city employee who has access to children. Organizations across the country have received the Partner designation after working hard to train employees with the Stewards of Children program; Germantown is the first city to obtain it.
In May of 2011, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center (CAC) met with community leaders from across Shelby County to introduce the CAC Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative, centered on Stewards of Children.It is engaging and effective in teaching adults simple steps they can take to protect the children in their care.
Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy was at that May kick-off meeting and later arranged for the CAC to provide Stewards of Children training for all city personnel who had contact with children in the course of their job duties.
“Many of our city services are directed at providing a safe, secure environment for all our residents and especially our children,” the mayor said. “Here was an opportunity to add an important dimension to our ability to protect the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community. The training has been valuable to employees, increasing their awareness and skill in assessing and dealing with children who may be being abused.”
As of April, 2012, all 274 City of Germantown employees who work with or around children were trained in Stewards of Children: police and fire responders, library staff, court clerks, Athletic Club staff, parks and recreation employees and representatives from other departments. Beyond the training, Germantown is also working with the Child Advocacy Center to encourage non-governmental Germantown organizations and faith centers to take the Stewards of Children training.
Information provided by the City of Germantown.