Students receive ‘Talking About Touching’ curriculum to prevent child abuse
San Luis Obispo County Child Abuse Prevention Council (SLO-CAP) receives an award of $4,500 to expand Talking About Touching curriculum to second grade and special needs children throughout San Luis Obispo County, at no cost to the schools.
Children learn about unsafe touching and know how to say No, Go & Tell. The curriculum is also designed to help parents talk with their children about child abuse prevention. Using take-home materials and videos, parents learn how to talk with their children about personal safety and how to respond when a child discloses inappropriate touching.
“There’s a critical need to deliver ongoing and accurate child personal safety education and prevention to school-age children and their families, says Lisa Fraser, SLO-CAP’s Executive Director. “Ninety percent of child victims know their offender, with almost half of the offenders being a family member. In the majority of cases, abusers gain access to their victims by befriending them with gifts or tricking them, seldom using force. Classroom use of Talking About Touching is one way to provide children and parents the skills they need to prevent abuse.”
SLO-CAP’s trained educators provide child personal safety lessons in over 40 schools and instruct more than 2,500 kindergarteners. This topic may be unnerving for parents and other adults, but the teachers find that the children are very receptive. Though the children are young, the curriculum is age appropriate and also includes personal safety rules, such as crossing the street and beginning skills in assertiveness training. “Knowledge is power. It’s a kids’ tool box for safety. The kids easily understand the difference between safe touch and unsafe touch,” says Mary Thielsher, Lead Educator for the Talking About Touching program. The curriculum helps them to know that it is okay to tell an adult when unsafe touching has occurred.”
SLO-CAP also works with Child Care Resource Connection and S.A.V.E, a nonprofit committed to preventing child sexual abuse to train English-Speaking and Spanish-Speaking childcare providers so they may reinforce Talking About Touching messages for the children and parents they serve.
The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is a public trust which meets the changing needs and interests of the community. SLO-CAP is one of the 37 recipients of the Foundation’s $161,732 grant fund.
In 1988 the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors designated SLO-CAP as the self-governing entity responsible for local efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. An independent agency, SLO-CAP fosters community relationships to promote a collective approach for the prevention of child maltreatment in all regions of San Luis Obispo County.
SLO-CAP’s mission is: “To build effective community partnerships dedicated to the support of strong families and the prevention of child abuse and neglect through education, advocacy and coordination of services.” To donate or learn more about SLO-CAP call 805 543-6216