Service Delivery Systems for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Protecting children from abuse, physically and mentally is a major responsibility for all caregivers of children. This includes parents, teachers and childcare workers. According to research conducted by Spungen, Jensen, Finkelstein and Satinsky, it was estimated that one out of five females and one out of six males would be the victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. In 1985 it was estimated that over 113,000 children between the ages of six through 18 were sexually assaulted in that year alone (Spungen, et al 1989, p127). Due to the increasing incidence of child sexual abuse, a need arose for prevention and training programs for families and caregivers of children. To fulfill this need, child sexual abuse prevention education programs were established.
Research conducted in 1987, indicated that over nine million preschoolers and millions of school aged children were cared for by some type of daycare program. Consequently, daycare providers were in a unique position to provide this prevention program (Spungen, et al 1989, p127.)
The first such program was established in Philadelphia at the Federation Day Care Services. The goal of the program was to enhance the knowledge of staff, parents and children and to help children develop skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse. The goal for parents and staff was to help them become sensitive about child safety issues and be prepared to cope with the feelings that the children expressed. This program was developed and coordinated by an interagency committee comprised of administrators, educational supervisors and masters prepared social workers who had expertise and training the area of child sexual abuse (Spungen, et al 1989, p127).
In developing this program they used the eight basic steps for problem management (Halley, Kopp, Austin 1998, p 183).
1. Perceiving a need and then defining th...