Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children training

Not all children grow up in protected and safe homes. Child abuse is an epidemic in our country, and not all children even get to grow up. Scars often remain when abuse ends. Be A Voice 4 Kids and the Polk County Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team have joined forces to bring awareness and resources to our community in an effort to prevent child abuse and neglect.

“Every child deserves to have a happy and safe childhood,” says Mary Edwards, founder of Be A Voice 4 Kids. “We want to train adults to know how to detect the signs of child sexual abuse and get some help for families.”

Darkness 2 Light/Stewards of Children trainings prepare adults to learn the facts, minimize opportunity, talk about it, recognize the signs and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Approximately 100 people already have become Stewards of Children in our Polk County area but many more are needed.

During April 2016, which is Child Abuse Awareness Month, opportunities are available for interested adults to become a Steward of Children. Firefighters and churches have opened their hearts to providing a place for the trainings to occur, Edwards said. Attendance at any single training will certify an individual as a Steward of Children.

Two private donors offered funding so that the training during April can be reduced per person. To register, contact Edwards by phone, 828-817-4267, or email, at beavoice4kids@yahoo.com. Registration also will be available by contacting her at the Child Abuse Awareness Walk on April 1, from 11 to 1 p.m. at the Stearns Park in Columbus.

More information at www.d2l.org and at www.beavoice4kids.vpweb.com.

Submitted by Mary Edwards

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