(SARASOTA, FL, 09/21/2022)- The Child Protection Center (CPC)’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness Program (PSCA) celebrates its 30th anniversary of educating the community on reducing child abuse. As the longest tenured prevention program in the state of Florida as well as Sarasota County’s sole provider of this type of holistic and comprehensive child abuse prevention education, PSCA has served over 800,000 individuals in its 30-year history.
PSCA provides workshops at no cost to pre-school through high school aged youth and facilitates workshops for their caregivers, teachers, school board staff, and community members to help empower kids and enable adults to help make our entire community a safer and more stable place for children and families. The Personal Safety Team, led by Program Director Michelle McSwain, offers lessons for over 20 different personal safety topics, “All of which have the goal of empowering children over their bodies, decisions, and mind,” Michelle explains.
The hope is to prevent a child from becoming a victim of sexual abuse, but in some cases the program serves as the entry point into the system. Michelle commented that it’s not unusual for a child to disclose abuse during a presentation. “In one workshop, a child disclosed that her dad liked to touch her private body parts. In these situations, PSCA staff makes the abuse report. This was the first step to healing for that child, who was able to receive therapy services at the Child Protection Center and is now a survivor of sexual abuse because of a PSCA workshop.”
Since its inception 30 years ago, the growing program has developed a strong reputation as the professionals in prevention, presenting at national conferences such as Krimes Against Kids and receiving requests from child advocacy centers across the country wishing to emulate their work. Ariane Beauchamp, PSCA’s Lead Educator, remarked that, “Without a program such as this, both kids and adults would lack the education needed to seek help, which would create a community where child abuse continues to endure.” Ariane further explained the needs for this education, reporting that, “Sarasota & DeSoto Counties alone receive over 3,000 reports of child abuse every year.”
“Preventing children from experiencing the traumas of abuse and providing them a life where they can just be a kid, that’s the goal we want for all children,” said Doug Staley, CPC’s Executive Director. “Our children are worth the investment! I see the successes this program makes daily and want the community to know your support and actions are saving lives and making a difference every single day.” Doug went on to confirm an initiative for PSCA to expand into DeSoto County in the near future.
The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse, as the organization envisions a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. For over 40 years, CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida, and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. For more information on CPC, visit www.cpcsarasota.org. To book PSCA for a personal safety workshop at no cost, please contact MichelleB@CPCSarasota.org or call 941-365-1277 Ext. 106.