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Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force Releases Technical Assistance Resource Guide on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention

July 2017

This week Georgia’s Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, led by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, released a Technical Assistance Resource Guide on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention. “It is our hope to provide a resource for schools and youth-serving organizations interested in delivering child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention programs,” said Michelle Anderson, Task Force Coordinator.

“Schools and youth-serving organizations are in a unique position to help young people shape positive, healthy attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that work to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation,” says Tiffany Sawyer, Director of Prevention Services for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and Chairperson of the Task Force’s Work Group 2: Youth Aware and Safe. “Primary prevention education is essential in the fight against sex trafficking and it requires a collaborative effort between the schools and allied community partners such as child advocacy centers, rape crisis programs, local child abuse prevention councils and other victim services agencies.”

This comprehensive guide, Georgia’s Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Prevention Technical Assistance Resource Guide, or TARG for short, provides background on best practice, principles of prevention, identifying resources for the classroom, developing a prevention plan, age appropriate teaching suggestions, analysis of specific programs, and guidelines for implementation and evaluation. Additional appendices cover Georgia specific health standards, laws and codes regarding mandatory reporting of abuse, fact sheets and identify additional resources.

“Preventing and reducing the occurrence of child sexual abuse and exploitation is a local and state priority,” says Jay Neal, Executive Director of the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.  One in ten children are sexually abused before the age of 18, yet most never disclose their abuse (Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013).  Additionally, roughly 90% of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation report having previously experienced child sexual abuse.  (National Institute of Justice. (2007). “By coming together to do everything we can to prevent child abuse, we can significantly decrease the likelihood a child will fall victim to exploitation,” says Bobby Cagle, Executive Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.

The Task Force’s Work Group 2: Youth Aware and Safe - comprised of dedicated local experts in child advocacy, child abuse prevention, and victims’ services – spent two years reviewing specific child-focused abuse and exploitation prevention programs to create this guide. This guide does not endorse a particular program, but it does provide a list of programs that have met the Work Group’s specific criteria for prevention. It is up to each school and/or youth-serving organization to use this guide as a tool to assess their situation and resources and then decide on a program and implementation plan that best meets their needs. The intention of this guide is to specifically address child sexual abuse and exploitation within the sexual violence continuum and how communities can engage in prevention strategies to improve the health and well-being of their youth population.

Georgia’s Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Prevention Technical Assistance Resource Guide is designed to be widely used and distributed and is available for free by downloading a PDF file at http://georgiacenterforchildadvocacy.org/

For more information, contact:  

Michelle Anderson
Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator,
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Office: 404-657-1962
michelle.anderson@cjcc.ga.gov

Tiffany Sawyer
Director of Prevention Services, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
Office: 678-904-2880 x215
tiffanys@gacfca.org

Julia Neighbors                 
Director, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, School of Public Health, Georgia State University
Office: 404-413-1419
jneighbors@gsu.edu          

Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force: The mission of the Task Force, led by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, is to protect the citizens of Georgia from perpetrators and systems of sexual exploitation while concurrently working to support recovery of CSEC victims. The Task Force operates by a targeted, strategic framework which consists of individual Work Groups addressing the five elements of the trafficking continuum: Vulnerabilityà Recruitmentà Exploitation à Withdrawal à Reintegration.

For more information, visit https://cjcc.georgia.gov/georgia-statewide-human-trafficking-task-force

References:

Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: studies. Charleston, S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org

National Institute of Justice. (2007). Commercial sexual exploitation of children: What do we know and what do we do about it? (Publication NCJ 215733). US Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs.

Contact Information:  Deborah.Chosewood@dhs.ga.gov

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.

Help us ensure that no child goes hungry this summer.  For additional information about the program and local sites please visit the following websites,

https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program

https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/sfsp-fact-sheets

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

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Child Welfare Information Gateway added a new web section to Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect  Parenting Resources on  Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Teens. The new section features resources and parenting tips, to support pregnant and parenting teens. 

Better Brains for Babies

Better Brains for Babies' website provides families and professionals with current research-based information about early brain development and its implications for children in Georgia and throughout the United States. It also provides information about practices that contribute to healthy brain development, and connects you with resources to support brain development in young children.