For almost 30 years, The Women’s Center has provided a free child sexual abuse prevention program in Tarrant County to children, ages 4-18, to help them reduce their risk of abuse and seek help. The program is provided one classroom at a time with curriculum that has been researched, written and scripted by The Women’s Center. Each grade level’s program, from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade, speaks to children in a way they can best learn and respond.
From January thru October 2012, the program has reached 63,000 children, plus another 7,000 adults and professionals. 121 children have come forward this year to a Women’s Center trainer to disclose abuse. Many more children have told a trusted adult after participating in the program.
Now the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work is collaborating with The Women’s Center on a 2-year research project to prove the effectiveness of Play It Safe! and establish it as an evidence-informed program. The research will also help professionals understand how and why Play It Safe! works. Research is being conducted through pre- and post-testing of children to measure outcomes. They are also conducting in-depth interviews with Play It Safe! facilitators/trainers, staff, school district administrators and teachers to understand the role they play in making this program a success.
This project is part of the Innovative Community Academic Partnership (iCAP), that promotes innovative research aimed at improving living conditions of children and families, and increasing effectiveness of social service agencies in Tarrant County. It is funded by the Amon G. Carter Foundation.
The goal of the project is that more than 80% of students will score above 80% on the post-tests, which means that the preponderance of children who receive the training will recognize child sexual abuse, retain the skills to resist child sexual abuse if approached, and know how to report the abuse.
To schedule a program or for more information call 817-927-4039.