Learning to recognize and report child abuse
By Fannin County Children’s Center
Aug 9, 2012
Print this page
Email this article

Many educators in Fannin County have been learning about how to recognize and report child abuse. Staff from the Fannin County Children’s Center trained 184 teachers and staff with Bonham ISD last week. This week, Children’s Center staff are scheduled to train about 60 educators at Leonard schools and another 30 people at the Fannindel ISD in Ladonia.

Thanks to grants and donations to the Children’s Center, the classes were offered free of charge to the school districts.

“We are excited that so many area schools responded to our offer to provide the this training,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “We have been told that for every adult we train, an estimated 10 children will be protected.”

Statistics say that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they reach their 18th birthday. Each year in Fannin County there are 50-100 confirmed cases of child abuse.

“Last year, there was a dramatic drop in the number of child abuse reports in Fannin County, despite the fact that the number of confirmed cases remained constant,” said Barber. “This means that fewer reports are going in to the child abuse hotline. Neither CPS nor law enforcement can investigate a suspected case of child abuse unless someone finds the courage to report it.”

The “Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse” class will also be offered to the general public two times in September. This free class utilizes video, class discussion and case studies. Learning objectives include: the realities of child abuse, detailing who becomes victims, who the likely perpetrators are and the prevalence of abuse in all communities, the legal definitions, signs and symptoms of child abuse, how to communicate with a child who makes a disclosure of abuse, how to make a report and how to overcome one's fear's and barriers around reporting. This class will be offered at the Center on Monday, Sept 10 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm and again on Thursday, Sept 20 from 11:30 - 1:00 pm.

The “Stewards of Children” class is another child abuse prevention class offered by the Center. This one utilizes video, interactive workbooks and class discussion. Topics covered include how to recognize signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, how to react to a child making a disclosure of sexual abuse, as well as steps that individuals and organizations can take to prevent sexual abuse of children. This class will be offered for free on Thursday, Sept 13 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the Center.

All classes will be held at the Children’s Center at 112 West Fifth Street in Bonham. All participants who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate. Thanks to generous donations, there is no charge for the classes. Seating is limited.

To register, contact the Children’s Center by phone at (903) 583-4339, by email at info@fanninccc.org or in person at 112 W. 5th in Bonham. Provide your name, which class you want to attend and a contact method (phone and/or email). To schedule one of these trainings on site at your school, church or other youth serving organization, contact Sandy Barber at the same number.