Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Child abuse can be prevented. With the right skills, tools, and knowledge, every parent, caregiver, and child- and youth-serving organization can do this.

From educating and empowering children and parents to informing and engaging the legislature, community leaders, and all youth-serving organizations, the Children’s Trust works to protect children from sexual abuse through three main initiatives.

Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

We are proud to be co-chairing, along with the state Office of the Child Advocate, the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The purpose of the task force includes developing guidelines and tools for the development of sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans by organizations serving children and youth.

This multi-agency collaboration is utilizing the collective experience of both public and private youth-serving agencies, offices, and organizations from across the state. The task force has published a comprehensive report and recommendations, Guidelines and Tools for the Development of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Intervention Plans by Youth-Serving Organizations in Massachusetts.

Safe Kids Thrive

Safe Kids Thrive is a first-of-its-kind website, developed by the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, that helps child-serving organizations develop and implement prevention-focused policies and programs that stop sexual abuse before it happens. With customizable planning tools, online trainings, and learning modules, the site allows organizations to find relevant prevention resources for their specific needs.

For more information visit Safe Kids Thrive.

Creating Safe School Environments

The Children’s Trust’s how-to manual for educators, “Steps Toward Child Abuse Prevention & Creating Safe School Environments (2024)” is now in its fourth edition. Guiding schools and other youth-serving organizations through the process of creating and sustaining safe and proactive environments for children, the latest version includes:

  • Current research on best practices in preventing child sexual abuse in school settings,
  • Links to updated training resources and guidance documents, 
  • Current DCF policies on mandated reporting, 
  • An expanded section on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, 
  • A new section on children and youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB), and 
  • Links to free prevention resources and tools on the Safe Kids Thrive website. 

It is our hope that this new resource and guidance will provide the tools to help our schools build the strongest possible abuse prevention frameworks for the safety and protection of the students in our care.

Keeping Kids Safe

The Children’s Trust has developed a full-day “train the trainer” program on child sexual abuse prevention to provide professionals and organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to create safe environments for children. The training includes a module for staff and one for parents. “Keeping Kids Safe” is the parent module that provides specific language and guidance that parents can use to talk with their children to keep them safe. Keeping Kids Safe is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, and Chinese.

For more information visit our Family Support Training Center.