A child at the Child Protection Center

A child at the Child Protection Center

The Child Protection Center recently received $300,000 in funding from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to supports its efforts in responding to child abuse. The organization's Personal Safety and Community Awareness (PSCA) program is designed to create a safety net surrounding children, where caregivers, educators, faith leaders, and other organization employees receive free training on identifying and reporting signs of abuse. It also includes developmentally appropriate personal safety workshops for children that cover topics including sexual abuse prevention, anti-bullying, internet safety, abduction prevention, and self-esteem and empathy training.

CPC reports that child sexual abuse has increased by 23 percent during the pandemic as compared to pre-pandemic numbers—more than 3,800 child abuse reports were referred to the agency last year. Increased stressors at home, spending more time than ever online and isolating at home, have all increased the potential for child abuse to occur. A rise in referrals for treatment has also caused the organization to initiate waiting lists.