Champions For Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads

The mission of Champions For Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads is to prevent child abuse and neglect through public awareness, education of its citizens and legislative advocacy.

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The organization's major project for 2017-2019 is a physical child abuse prevention campaign, No Hit Zone. The program was launched (January 2017) in General Academic Pediatrics office inside CHKD and then at four sites in the City of Chesapeake (April - August, 2017)- The Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, the Mother-Baby Unit and the Emergency Department at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. This initiative has been successfully carried out in other parts of the United States but this campaign of prevention is a first of its kind for Hampton Roads. The Chesapeake Department of Public Health is the first dedicated building for No Hit Zone in Hampton Roads! Other site launches are in process - more to come!

The hallmark training in child sexual abuse prevention is the Stewards of Children training program developed by Darkness to Light, Charleston, SC. Champions has trained 10 Facilitators in the nationally recognized program and takes the program out to adults who care for children in Hampton Roads. In the past 2 years, over 800 adults have been trained to recognize and react to signs of child abuse. Champions co-ordinates trainings with public agencies, community groups and child care facilities by taking Champions certified trainers to lead the 2 hour professional training with groups at their on-site work place. The largest group trained by Champions For Children is the Virginia Beach School Nurses - 98 nurses were trained at that 2 hour training session.

A physical abuse prevention training module is in last stages of development by Champions For Children. This one hour module will be promoted as a staff training tool in child abuse prevention for public agencies, daycare organizations and community service groups. It is also a Facilitator lead training.
Other Champions trainings:
--Upon request, an abuse survivor panel including a professional moderator and 2 abuse survivors
--A one hour CLE accredited training, A Child Protective Services Referral: from Call to Conclusion
--Commonwealth of Virginia Mandated Reporter Training, a requisite for many professionals in the child advocacy field
--Speak Up, Be Heard, an public advocacy training for citizens developed by Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and will be held in Hampton Roads on November 21st, 2017 in Norfolk. Champions leads this advocacy training each year, this year it being one of the three such trainings in the state of Virginia.

Two Champions Board members co-chair the Eastern Region Fatality Review Team. In April 2017 a press conference was held by the Review Team with media present for the 2017 Report. Champions For Children uses the Team's Fatality Report to communicate messages of infant death prevention, especially the information and education on infant safe sleep practices for parents. Champions shares this information with elected officials and advocates for laws to protect infants and children. Advocacy with legislators is extremely important and as a Prevent Child Abuse Virginia affiliate (1 of 5 in the state), we are well equipped to take forward research based advocacy information to the General Assembly Hampton Roads delegation.

A formal media driven public awareness campaign is under development. Its launch is contingent upon future funding. WTKR is one media source who is stepping up to partner with us in our public awareness efforts.
"The work Champions For Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads engages in is vital, not only for the society at large, but ultimately for the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable." --- abuse survivor, hampton roads
" As a survivor of sexual abuse, I am so grateful for an organization like Champions for Children, who have made it easy to open a dialog for a once taboo subject. It truly takes everyone to keep children safe. The best part is that we don't have to do it alone." --- vts, school director
"We can make a difference as Champions For Children, and as a survivor, I cannot thank the organization enough for the work they do to educate and advocate for the children of today and tomorrow. " ---vida