Child Protection Center’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness Program (PSCA) Team: Mitzi Howard, Ariane Beauchamp, Michelle McSwain, Shelby Marsh

Every 14.5 minutes a child is abused in Florida. They want to STOP it!

The Personal Safety Team offers a holistic approach to the prevention of child abuse by promoting greater community awareness of the issue. “Our program arms children with personal safety skills that allow them to have ownership over their bodies and their voice,” says Michelle McSwain, Program Director. “Every lesson has one overarching message: They have the power to say NO to unsafe behaviors, situations, or people.”

PSCA provides workshops for children and caregivers with a focus on sexual child abuse prevention, internet safety, and properly identifying and reporting suspected abuse. “We are creating a future in which children are empowered and educated, adults are aware and equipped, and our community is a safer place for children and families.”

As our community struggles with COVID-19, the women of the Personal Safety Team emphasize that child abuse does not stop during a pandemic—it simply goes unreported, because children are not with as many trusted adults. As families face mounting stress, the danger of children being placed in risky situations increases every day the health crisis persists.

Even during a time of distress, their influence has been nothing short of successful. They have taken this opportunity to expand programming digitally, ensuring that children in Sarasota County are still receiving the vital information they need to continue to grow their safety skills. These women are essential in creating safer, stronger, empowered children. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Conducts extensive curriculum of prevention education workshops, including: Internet Safety, The Touching Rule, and Anti-Bullying.
  • Workshops have been conducted at 100 percent of Sarasota public elementary schools and reach over 65,000 individuals annually.
  • Trains over 1,000 professionals annually on how to identify and report child abuse.
  • After a Touching Rule Workshop, 100 percent of third-grade students could identify a trusted adult to tell if they ever find themselves in an unsafe situation.
  • Has been providing this essential education since 1992. 

Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 S. ORANGE AVE., SARASOTA, FL 34236
(941) 365-1277
CPCSARASOTA.ORG

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