Stewards of Children

Scientific Rating:
3
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Stewards of Children has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Primary) Programs.

Target Population: Staff and volunteers of schools and other youth-serving organizations, parents/caregivers, and concerned adults

Brief Description

The Stewards of Children program is a 2-hour training that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It integrates commentary from sexual abuse survivors, experts in the field, and other concerned adults, all providing practical guidance for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse. It is available in both a facilitator-led and online model.

Program Goals:

The overall goals of Stewards of Children are:

  • Increased knowledge about child sexual abuse
  • Improved attitudes about preventing child sexual abuse
  • Changed child protective behaviors over the long-term
  • Improved child care codes of conduct for youth-serving organizations
  • Improved child care policies and procedures for youth-serving organizations

Essential Components

The essential components of Stewards of Children include:

  • Facilitator-Led Training:
    • Facilitator-led class sizes are usually 25 or fewer individuals and are typically held in schools, youth-serving organizations, churches and public meeting spaces.
    • All program content and concepts are delivered by DVD. This ensures high fidelity when training sessions are delivered by different facilitators or are conducted in diverse settings. It is also what makes this program unique.
    • A trained, authorized facilitator leads group discussions using pre-determined topics/questions at set intervals throughout the training.
    • All participants receive an interactive workbook that reinforces key concepts and facilitates fidelity. Participants are given the opportunity to use the workbook to prepare a personal action plan for protecting children from child sexual abuse.
    • Participants are given a certificate of completion at the end of the training. This is often turned in to the trainee’s employer as proof of successful completion.
  • Online:
    • On-demand online training is available to individuals through the Internet. The program can be stopped and re-started at any time during delivery.
    • All online program content is identical to that delivered via DVD.
    • There is an interactive component to the online training. In lieu of group discussion, participants develop a personal action plan at intervals throughout the training. This can be printed out at the completion of the training.
    • There is a short post-test. Participants must score 80% in order to print out a certificate of completion.

Adult Services

Stewards of Children directly provides services to adults (regardless of whether they are parents or caregivers) and addresses the following:

  • Deficit of knowledge in how to adequately prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Community Daily Living Settings
  • Foster/Kinship Care
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Religious Organization
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Languages

Stewards of Children has materials available in languages other than English:

Icelandic, Spanish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Facilitator-led training: A Darkness to Light authorized facilitator, DVD player, TV, speakers, a room large enough to accommodate seated participants. Online training: computer or tablet, internet connection.

Minimum Provider Qualifications

• To become authorized to present the Stewards of Children program facilitator candidates must complete a full-day facilitator workshop conducted by a Darkness to Light certified instructor.

• While teaching or training experience is not required, facilitators must feel comfortable speaking and presenting in front of large audiences. Effective communication skills, including presentation and listening ability, are critically important to being a successful facilitator. Facilitators must be capable of both immersing in the topic and distancing themselves from the negative and traumatic aspects of child sexual abuse.

• All facilitators sign a facilitator agreement accepting all facilitator policies including a mandatory background check prior to taking on the role.

• Facilitators are asked to train at least 25 adults per quarter to maintain active status.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Facilitator Workshop Contact: Darkness to Light
    phone: (843) 965-5444
Training is obtained:

Facilitator candidates attend a full-day facilitator workshop. These are hosted regularly in communities throughout the country as well as at Darkness to Light’s headquarters.

Number of days/hours:

One full day – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Implementation Information

Since Stewards of Children is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

Show implementation information...

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Stewards of Children as listed below:

Facilitators/organizations have the option to administer pre- and post-tests to participants These are available to facilitators on the Darkness to Light website or by request.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Stewards of Children as listed below:

Darkness to Light provides one-on-one technical and programmatic support for facilitators during business hours. Darkness to Light provides technical support for online training participants, 24-hours/day, 7 days a week.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for Stewards of Children.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Stewards of Children as listed below:

All facilitators receive a Facilitator Manual, Facilitator Guide & Script and Stewards of Children DVD when they complete the Facilitator Workshop. Copies of these can also be obtained by contacting Darkness to Light at stewards@D2L.org or 843-965-5444.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement Stewards of Children as listed below:

Paranal, R., Washington, K., & Derrick, C. (2012). Utilizing online training for child sexual abuse prevention: Benefits and limitations. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(5), 507-520.

Rheingold, A. A., Zajac, K., & Patton, M. (2012). Feasibility and acceptability of a child sexual abuse prevention program for childcare professionals: Comparison of a web-based and in-person training. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(4), 422-436.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Safety

Show relevant research...

Paranal, R., Washington, K., & Derrick, C. (2012) Utilizing online training for child sexual abuse prevention: Benefits and limitations. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(5), 507-520.

Type of Study: Non-randomized control group design
Number of Participants: 218

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified
  • Gender — 79% Female
  • Status — Participants were volunteers or employees of child-serving organizations and included educators, mentors, civic and religious leaders, child advocates, foster parent advocates, counseling students, and local governing entities.

Location/Institution: South Carolina

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This article discusses the benefits and limitations of conducting the Stewards of Children program online from the perspective of participants, including what participants found effective, what challenges were most commonly encountered, and trainee perspectives of the program’s overall impact. Results indicate that the majority of participants felt that the online format was effective and that this particular training was useful. Participants indicated that they found the online environment appropriate for a sensitive training topic such as Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. Participants also highly rated the resources made available to them throughout the training for emotional support. Limitations include that the study did not discuss the impact of the training on the prevention or identification of abuse.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Six months.

Rheingold, A. A., Zajac, K., Chapman, J. E., Patton, M., de Arellano, M., Saunders, B., & Kilpatrick, D. (2015). Child sexual abuse prevention training for childcare professionals: An independent multi-site randomized controlled trial of Stewards of Children. Prevention Science, 16(3), 374-385. doi:10.1007/s11121-014-0499-6

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 352

Population:

  • Age — 18-64 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 65% Caucasian and 28% African American
  • Gender — 85% Female
  • Status — Participants were childcare professionals recruited from children’s advocacy centers.

Location/Institution: Bend, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and Beaufort, South Carolina.

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The current study examines the feasibility and acceptability of the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program for child care professionals provided in two different formats: in-person and web-based. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) in-person training, (2) web-based training, or (3) waitlist control. Results indicated that stewards impacted knowledge, attitudes, and preventive behaviors. No differences were found between training modalities (i.e., in-person versus web-based) on knowledge and preventive behaviors. Limitations include the use of a post-test only assessment for knowledge and attitudes, attrition, and that the study did not discuss the impact of the training on the prevention or identification of abuse.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

References

No reference materials are currently available for Stewards of Children.

Contact Information

Name: Cindy McElhinney, BA
Agency/Affiliation: Darkness to Light
Website: www.d2l.org
Email:
Phone: (843) 513-1614
Fax: (843) 965-5449
Name: Catherine Townsend, BS
Agency/Affiliation: Darkness to Light
Website: www.d2l.org
Email:
Phone: (843) 513-1616
Fax: (843) 965-5449

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2015