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 Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force. 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. Most recently, the task force fulfilled its primary goal with the publication of 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.

Download the full report here.

Download the Executive Summary here.

Section summaries are available below as PDFs

The task force has launched the second phase of its work, convening regional listening sessions to discuss the community implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations.

Creating Safe School Environments

The Children’s Trust’s how-to manual for educators, "Steps Toward Child Abuse Prevention & Creating Safe School Environments," is now in its third edition. Guiding schools and other child-serving organizations through the process of creating safe environments for children, the latest version includes new information on building a safe cyber-environment, screening and hiring practices, codes of conduct, and recent updates to Massachusetts laws, as well as policies of the Department of Children and Families.

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.

Safe Kids Thrive

Safe Kids Thrive is a first-of-its-kind website, developed by the Massachusetts Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, 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.