Hawaii No Task Force Created. Vermont Vermont in March was the first state in the country to adopt comprehensive legislation to address child sexual abuse. Motivated by the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of year old Brooke Bennett by her uncle, a known sex offender, state officials sought to address a range of issues to close loopholes that had allowed him to commit these acts.
The page legislation known as Act 1, however, was clear about the need to focus on prevention. While there are a number of programs and organizations devoted to raising awareness about sexual abuse of children, a coordinated and properly funded statewide approach is needed to ensure that we are devoting appropriate resources and programming to stopping abuse before it happens, not just responding to the crime.
Act 1 also required licensed child care directors to be trained so they in turn would train their staff. It called for implementation to begin in the school year. Implementation The Vermont Task Force emphasized the need to educate adults first and then children.
It promoted a focus on social emotional learning, establishing appropriate boundaries and developing healthy relationships as core to sexual abuse prevention. While the Task Force did not recommend any particular program or curriculum, it later added a resource component to the TARG report listing a number of curricula schools could consider.
Some schools have chosen to use the resource, others have objected to it for not being trauma-informed, other schools have simply filed it away without using it. A professionally produced media campaign called "Step Up" which included television spots, posters and flyers was also launched for one year and made available on the Department of Children and Families' website.
Because Vermont's health education curriculum had already required training about Domestic and sexual violence, it has been easier to incorporate sexual abuse prevention education information into the high schools. Many member agencies of the Vermont Domestic Violence Network conduct date rape prevention education for those grades. Through state contracts and with additional private funding, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont PCAV has been a resource to elementary and middle schools, and licensed child care facilities and providers about child sexual abuse prevention.
These interactive curricula go beyond providing sexual abuse awareness; they support social and emotional competence by helping children and youth develop healthy boundaries, self-esteem, empathy, coping skills, and knowledge of supports available to them. All three programs include training for adults in the school community. Next year, the program will be in Vermont schools and will have trained trainers in over two dozen states.
Despite its population of only ,, Vermont prevention advocates report barriers to full implementation, noting that "school budgets are under attack," and that demands on school nurses, counselors or others who might carry out the program have increased as a result.
Advocates admit that it will be difficult, if possible at all, to build the internal capacity for schools to do the prevention training without outside support. While annual training is clearly a best practice, there is no mandate to ensure that trainings are done each year.
Still advocates state that overall "schools really latch on to this, because they want to do the right thing. Final recommendations are to be presented to the General Assembly in Nebraska No Task Force Created. Louisiana No Task Force Created.
Among its goals were: The Task Force met from August through December and provided a progress report to the full Legislature in January Two bills were proposed at that time: The Senate approved both bills. The House States Affair Committee, however, supported only the mandated reporter amendment and voted to kill the Task Force. Days later, after citizen and media uproar, the Governor revived the Task Force which is now continuing its work under the Department of Health. The Jolene Task Force will issue its latest report in November Florida No Task Force Created.
Washington No Task Force Created. Kansas No Task Force Created. Wisconsin No Task Force Created. Oregon No Task Force Created. Kentucky No Task Force Created. Colorado No Task Force Created. Ohio No Task Force Created. Oklahoma No Task Force Created. It created a member task force charged with developing "recommendations and proposals for statutory changes, state education policy, and methods to foster cooperation among state agencies, local government, schools and community efforts to prevent child sexual abuse in West Virginia.
Wyoming No Task Force Created. Utah No Task Force Created. Indiana No Task Force Created. Illinois Illinois passed the Child Abuse Prevention Act of in February , establishing the "Erin's Law Task Force" for the purpose of providing recommendations on how to educate children from K-Grade 5 and school personnel about 1 warning signs that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse; 2 actions a child who is abused should take to obtain assistance and information; and 3 resources for counseling.
Parents were to be informed through the school handbook about "warning signs" of victims. The report by the member Task Force was issued on June 1, with the following three recommendations: Child sexual abuse prevention education should be taught in grades pre-K through 5. Training for school administrators should be amended to include child sexual abuse as a selective strand under the Illinois Administrator Academy.
Child sexual abuse training should be provided as a certified professional development unit CPDU for certified non-administrative school personnel. The Task Force's commitment to child-focused education as the best solution to address child sexual abuse was expressed in the concluding statement of its report: As a result, perpetrators will have to continue to search for victims who will go along with their grooming and tactics to maintain silence.
Ultimately, as children are educated about self- protection and speaking out, they will be able to protect themselves. As adults, they will be able to protect their own children and end the intergenerational code of silence that pervades our society regarding childhood sexual abuse.
These programs have the potential to substantially reduce child sexual abuse in Illinois. A provision allowing parents to "opt out their children" from the training is included.
A subsequent bill requiring mandated reporter training recommended earlier by the Task Force was passed in August Implementation Implementing the recommendations of the Task Force is a formidable challenge in a state the size of Illinois which has school districts with 4, public schools serving 2.
Despite the commendable efforts of non-profit groups, such as Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, the Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois, and Illinois CASA that offer sexual abuse prevention training and technical assistance to schools, prevention advocates note that "most regional superintendents know nothing about Erin's Law.
A reason for this may be that there is little, if any, accountability on the part of the Illinois Board of Education or School Boards to ensure or even encourage implementation of the Task Force's recommendations. For example, while the Illinois Board of Education website identifies a number of initiatives around bullying and other safety topics, there is no mention of the child sexual abuse education mandate.
The Board also does not gather data on how many and which schools are engaged in carrying out the directives. While a few schools have outwardly resisted instituting programs to prevent child sexual abuse, e.
This reflects the overall condition of the Illinois State Budget which has worsened in recent years. As a result of lack of resources and a weak commitment on the part of the Illinois Board of Education, the implementation of Erin's Law, according to advocates in the state, has been "very slow" in the three years since the Task Force's recommendations were issued.
Alaska Alaska passed the Safe Children's Act in June, to create a task force "to create age appropriate curricula for different grades by ". Its section addressing K-6 training is referred to as Erin's Law; the section dealing with dating violence prevention for Grades 7 - 12 is referred to as "Bree's Law.
A parent opt out feature is included. The Task Force was given two years - until - to develop a curriculum for children. Maine No Task Force Created. Maryland No Task Force Created. Arkansas Arkansas passed Erin Law language in and called for "preventing child sexual abuse through education.
The Task Force stated emphatically that: It also expanded the education of school personnel to both licensed and non-licensed employees, emphasized that strategies be employed to encourage parental involvement. It also called for additional state funding to support the work. The Task Force which was to expire May 1, was extended and charged to meet semi-annually to oversee implementation of its recommendations. The Task Force released a report in June of link below.
The report reccomends policies and procedures with the goal being that Youth Serving Organizations will follow these guidelines to help ensure the overall safety and well being of young people. The Task Force has been charged with the following responsibilities: Develop guidelines for the development of sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans by organizations serving children and youth 2.
Recommend policies and procedures for implementation and oversight of the guidelines Recommend strategies for incentivizing such organizations to develop and implement sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans 5.