By: Elizabeth Fowler, Prevent Child Abuse NC Communications Associate 

Recognizing the signs of child maltreatment, knowing how to report suspicions of abuse or neglect, and understanding the upstream approach to prevention are crucial aspects to ensuring that all children grow up in safe, stable, nurturing environments. That’s why Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) proudly offers two free online trainings that are open to the public.

Thanks to funding from the NC Division of Social Services and generous donor support, our “Recognizing and Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment” and “What is Prevention?” trainings equip prevention professionals, leaders, policymakers, and community members with the knowledge and skills they need to understand how child abuse and neglect can be prevented.

Now also offered in Spanish, the “Recognizing and Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment” training course takes just two hours to complete. The course guides individuals through learning modules all about the signs and symptoms to look out for with child abuse and neglect, what to do when they suspect maltreatment is happening, and includes information on North Carolina’s mandatory reporting law. While PCANC does not directly handle reports of child maltreatment, this training advises individuals and professionals on how to make a report to their local county Division of Social Services.

Did you know that all adults in the state of North Carolina are mandated reporters of child maltreatment? That’s right! It’s not only up to educators, medical professionals, law enforcement, or early education teachers to ensure children receive proper care, it’s a community effort. If you believe a child’s well-being may be at risk, it is your civic duty to report these suspicions.

PCANC Board Leader Somer Saunders took the Recognizing and Responding training earlier this year. She sees the value in ensuring that all children grow up in safe, stable, nurturing environments, and actively works to make prevention of child maltreatment a priority.

“We all need to look out for one another, especially our children. The information in this course is invaluable and really is something everyone needs to know,” Saunders said.

There are multiple different classifications of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. The “Recognizing and Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment” training breaks each of these down and goes in depth to provide examples of indicators, appropriate and effective ways to respond, and resources to contact the NC Division of Social Services should a report need to be made. Download this one-pager as a reminder of this vital information after you complete the course.

We know that child maltreatment is preventable, and by taking the one-hour “What is Prevention?” training, individuals and professionals who work with children and families can gain the knowledge they need to invest in an upstream approach to child maltreatment prevention and understand the difference between prevention and intervention.

Demonstrated in a short, animated video, the upstream approach to prevention is simple to understand. This training also highlights the 5 Protective Factors and goes in depth about how each one is a key attribute in improving the health and well-being of children and families. Research has shown that by increasing protective factors in homes and communities, we’re lowering incidences of child abuse and neglect.

At the end of each training is a short quiz reviewing the material presented. Once you pass the quiz with at least 80%, you will receive a certificate of completion that can be saved and printed.

After completion of the course, Saunders hopes participants spread the word about the availability of these trainings and share this knowledge and with others.

“I hope they put it to action in their interactions with others, especially children,” Saunders said.

 

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