Training and Consultation for Youth-serving Organizations

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s prevention education series is targeted at individuals and agencies that work directly with children and youth. This in-depth education provides comprehensive information on how to prevent sexual abuse, recognize signs of abuse and respond to known or suspected abuse. The trainings include customized content for direct, non-direct, administrative and supervisory staff. The education series also includes evaluation and outcomes measures.

The Importance of Prevention

Sexual abuse is a preventable public health problem, and it is up to caring adults to protect children and youth. Prevention programming is most effective when it addresses risk factors for sexual abuse on both an individual and organizational level. In addition to educating direct staff, ChicagoCAC’s trainings include changes to the organization and system levels to promote and sustain equitable, safe and sexual abuse-free environments. Prevention programming like this has shown improvements across participants’ measures of attitudes, knowledge and behavior.

Training for Employees

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Keeping Children Safe: Preventing, recognizing, responding and reporting sexual abuse” training is appropriate for all employees, and offers both in-person and online options. The training includes case scenarios for discussion and learning, covering the following topics:

  • definition of child sexual abuse
  • behavioral indicators of abuse: what to watch out for in adults
  • inappropriate sexual contact among children: what to watch out for in youth
  • reacting to disclosures of sexual abuse
  • the mandated reporting process
  • steps to take to keep kids safe in program settings (including summer camp)
  • guidelines on interactions between staff and participants
  • responding to inappropriate behavior and suspicions of child sexual abuse
  • providing safe physical environments

Consultation for Administration

For youth-serving organizations’ supervisory and administrative teams, ChicagoCAC provides consultation on policies and procedures that support the staff trainings and are critical to a successful system-wide prevention initiative. The goal of this administrative component is to provide consultation to help create a culture of safety and prevent sexual abuse within programs and agencies, and to decrease or eliminate opportunities when and where abuse can occur.

After conducting a needs assessment, ChicagoCAC staff provide guidance and consultation on concrete ways to enhance an agency’s policy and procedures, as well as the use of physical space to better ensure the safety of the children and youth served. Consultation can include:

  • Screening and selecting employees and volunteers
  • Enhancing policy, procedure and practices related to safety and prevention
  • Monitoring behavior
  • Ensuring safe physical environments
  • Responding to inappropriate behavior, breaches in policy, and allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse
  • Development of “Prevention team members” within an organization in order to sustain efforts

For more information, contact