It's not an easy conversation to have, but it's an important one. What do you say to the parent of a child whose sexual behaviors causes you concern? If you become aware of a child engaged in unhealthy sexual activity, you can broach the topic with the child's parent in a way that's straightforward but respectful. This tip sheet for having that conversation is a terrific resource for parents.
We're thinking about summer camps and child safety today. Here's a good resource for parents looking into summer programs for their children. http://www.stopitnow.org/camp_safety
Yesterday's Letter to the Editor: http://www.times-news.com/opinion/x1760074529/Jane-s-Place-needs-your-help-to-be-successful
May 22, 2014
Jane’s Place needs your help to be successful To the Editor: Cumberland Times-News The Cumberland Times-News Thu May 22, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
On behalf of Jane’s Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center, I’d like to thank the many individuals, organizations, churches, businesses, radio stations, and partner agencies that helped make our Get to Know Jane’s Place open house a success. Whether you donated your time or your talents (or a bit of both), your support is greatly appreciated.
Thank you also to the members of our community who attended our open house. At Jane’s Place, we hold to the idea that “that which affects one of us, affects all of us.” Your concern for our County’s youth means a great deal to our organization.
Additionally, I’d like to thank the dedicated professionals from child protective services, law enforcement, medical and mental health, social services, and prosecution (our partner agencies) who daily serve our county’s children. Despite long days and ever-increasing workloads, you remain committed to helping children and families during even the most difficult of times.
If you’re wondering what Jane’s Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center is, you’re probably not alone. As a relatively young nonprofit organization in Allegany County, we’re still working to spread the word about our purpose. Jane’s Place was founded in 2010 and named in memory of Mrs. Jane Dawson. Our mission is to reduce trauma, promote healing, and impart hope to child and adolescent victims of abuse, assault and neglect. To that end, we offer a safe, secure, child-friendly facility where victims may be interviewed, undergo medical examinations, and receive therapy services.
But we don’t do it alone.
Collaboration is key to all that we do. We deliver a multidisciplinary system of care for child victims and their families through partnerships with Allegany County’s multidisciplinary team.
All of our partners have 24/7 access to our Center. Jane’s Place supports and coordinates with our partner agencies to help victims and their families move forward in the process of healing and improve our county’s safety.
And we can’t do it without the support of our community.
As we seek to eliminate child abuse in Allegany County, Jane’s Place needs your involvement. Above all, we ask you to report suspected child abuse or neglect by calling 301-784-7122 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) or 911 (after-hours). Your confidential call could be the first step in ending the nightmare of abuse and neglect that too many of our children experience.
We also encourage you to learn more about Jane’s Place and our partner agencies by visiting our website (www.janesplaceall.org) or our Facebook page (Jane’s Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center), or simply calling us at 301-722-0016.
If you’re moved by our mission and want to help, consider making a donation either online through our website or standard mail to Jane’s Place, 26 Greene Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, or volunteering to serve on our Fundraising Committee.
Kristin Lemmert, coordinator
Jane’s Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center
A few weeks ago we participated in this informativePreventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations webinar through the National Children's Advocacy Center on , and we can't recommend it enough. We've included the PowerPoint below. NCAC will have the recorded webinar posted on its website within the next few weeks.
Nationally, Child Advocacy Centers like Jane’s Place are found to provide:
Jane's Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center's BEAR (Building an Environment for Accreditation and Resources) Project is honored to be one of the City of Cumberland Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects now under a thirty-day comment period. For more information, check out yesterday's article in the Cumberland Times-News.
We're excited to be "under consideration" for $19,480 in grant funding through the City of Cumberland's CDBG program! Read more about the Community Development Block Grant program in today's Cumberland Times-News.
Jane's Place was mentioned in today's Cumberland Times-News: Cumberland Times-News: http://www.times-news.com/local/x787227972/Domestic-violence-nurse-examiner-to-get-state-honor. We're so pleased that Debi will be officially recognized for her work with child and adult victims of abuse.
It's been an exciting week for Jane's Place staff. We traveled to Annapolis last Thursday with one of our board members (and a founding member of our Child Advocacy Center) to the Maryland Children's Alliance bimonthly meeting. We met with staff from other Child Advocacy Centers. learned about pertinent upcoming Maryland legislation, and brainstormed about possible funding opportunities.
Also on Thursday, we presented to Allegany County's Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents about Jane's Place, child abuse prevention, and internet safety. Today, we spoke with seniors at Allegany HRDC's George's Creek Senior Center. Tomorrow we head to HRDC's Cumberland Senior Center. Through these conversations and presentations, we hope to spread the word about Jane's Place and why it's so very important that we, as a community, report child abuse and neglect.
We're indebted to the Scarpelli Foundation and the DelFest Foundation for their support of our outreach activities. If your organization is interested in having us speak, please contact our Center at 301-722-0016.
Mark your calendar for an Open House at Jane's Place.
We're delighted to announce that Shawn Golden-Llewellyn was elected Vice-Chair and Sarah Kaiser was elected Secretary at today's meeting of our Board of Directors. Kudos!
Jane's Place was fortunate to be one of the area's nonprofit organizations presenting their case for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds at the City of Cumberland's public hearings last night. Our staff discussed our organization's mission, our service to Cumberland's children, and our BEAR (Building an Environment for Accreditation and Resources) Project.
Jane's Place Child Advocacy Center will be there to share information and talk with families. Be sure to join us!
Teaching Touching Safety Rules
There are three things you can teach your children before you begin to teach them specific touching safety rules.
1. Teach children the correct names of all of their different body parts, including their private body parts.
Children often... find it hard to tell about sexual abuse because they don't know the words to use. Learning correct (anatomical) words for private body parts gives children the words to use and helps them know that it is okay to talk about those body parts.
When teaching your young child the different body parts, consider using the correct words for private body parts along with words such as tummy and ears. You can give older children more information because they are able to understand more. You can also explain that the parts of their bodies covered by a swimsuit are their private body parts.
2. Teach children that "You are the boss of your body."
Let your children know that they are in control of who touches their bodies and how. Model this for children: "I don't want you to jump up and down on me. Please stop." Likewise, immediately respect their wishes not to be touched in certain ways. "Looks like you don't want me to pick you up right now. Okay." As you supervise your children's interactions, make it clear that they need to stop tickling or roughhousing if a sibling says "Stop!"
In addition, do not insist that your children give or receive hugs or kisses from relatives if they do not wish to. This teaches children that it’s okay to say no to touches from people in their family. Some relatives might expect a hug from your children every time they see them. Tell relatives that you are teaching your children to be bosses of their bodies as part of teaching them safety about touching, so that family members won't be offended by your children's behavior.
3. Explain to children that there are three kinds of touches.
The three kinds of touches are:
•Safe touches. These are touches that keep children safe and are good for them, and that make children feel cared for and important. Safe touches can include hugging, pats on the back, and an arm around the shoulder. Safe touches can also include touches that might hurt, such as removing a splinter. Explain to children that when you remove a splinter, you are doing so to keep them healthy, which makes it a safe touch.
•Unsafe touches. These are touches that hurt children's bodies or feelings (for example, hitting, pushing, pinching, and kicking). Teach children that these kinds of touches are not okay.
•Unwanted touches. These are touches that might be safe but that a child doesn't want from that person or at that moment. It is okay for a child to say no to an unwanted touch, even if it is from a familiar person. Help your children practice saying no in a strong, yet polite voice. This will help children learn to set personal boundaries.
Touching Safety Rules
Once children can name their private body parts and know about different kinds of touches, you can teach them that there is another kind of unsafe touch that is also not okay. This kind of touch is when someone older or bigger touches their private body parts. How you explain this will depend on the age of your child.
For a young child you might say, "Another kind of unsafe touch is when a bigger person touches you on your private body parts and it is not to keep you clean or healthy. So we have a family safety rule that it is never okay for a bigger person to touch your private body parts except to keep you clean and healthy."
Parents should understand that the "clean" part of this rule applies to young children at an age when an adult might help them with diaper changing, going to the toilet, or bathing. The "healthy" part of this rule refers to doctor visits; for example, when the doctor gives a child a shot. An adult family member should always be present at doctor appointments. At some point during the teenage years it will become appropriate for your children to handle their own doctor appointments.
For an older child you might say, "Another kind of unsafe touch is when someone touches you on your private body parts and it is not to keep you healthy. So our family safety rule about touching is that no one should touch your private body parts except to keep you healthy."
Teach your children the following safety rules:
•It is not okay to touch someone else's private body parts.
•It is not okay for someone to touch his or her own private body parts in front of you.
•It is not okay for someone to ask you to touch his or her private body parts.
•It is not okay for someone to ask you to take your clothes off or to take photos or videos of you with your clothes off.
•It is not okay for someone to show you photos or videos of people without their clothes on.
We all have ideas about child abusers and abuse, but what's really accurate? One With Courage offers nine myth-debunkers in this educational piece.