Centre YMCA recognized as ‘Partner in Prevention’
BELLEFONTE — For the 6th year in a row, the YMCA of Centre County has achieved “Partner in Prevention” status, a designation awarded by the nonproft Darkness to Light to organizations which take extra steps to protect the children they serve by training staff and volunteers to understand the issue of child sexual abuse, identify unsafe situations and practices, and react responsibly in the best interest of the children they serve.
One in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Ninety percent of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. This evidence-informed program is scientifcally proven to help participants prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. “Partner in Prevention” was created as a national standard to help parents and caregivers recognize organizations that take child protection seriously by implementing policy and training staff to prevent child sexual abuse.
To date, over 7,100 adults in Centre County have been trained in Darkness to Light’s, Stewards of Children.
This is a collaborative effort from the United Way, Youth Service Bureau, Women’s Resource Center, and the YMCA of Centre County. This unique partnership is only one of a few in the nation. It allows for a variety of different perspectives that encompasses the whole community.
Jamie SanFilippo, Director of Community Outreach of YMCA of Centre County, “This distinction requires the YMCA of Centre County to train over 90 percent of our management, staff, and volunteers in Stewards of Children. It’s a reminder to the community that we are committed to protecting children. Keeping families happy, healthy, and whole is our number one priority. It’s important to us that every adult who comes in contactwith children in our facilities is trained to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.”
To learn more about child sexual abuse prevention training or to enroll your organization in Darkness to Light’s “Partner in Prevention” program, please visit www.D2L.org/Partner. To schedule a free Stewards of Children training for your organization, please contact Jamie SanFilippo at 814-237-7717 or jsanflippo@ ymcaocc.org.
About the YMCA of Centre County:
The YMCA of Centre County has been serving Centre County for over 146 years, providing programs and service to those in need by focusing on three specifc areas: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. About Darkness to Light: Darkness to Light (D2L) has championed the movement to end child sexual abuse since its founding in 2000.
With affliates in all 50 U.S. states and 17 additional countries, D2L provides individuals, organizations, and communities with the tools to protect children from sexual abuse. To date, the D2L network of 9,000 authorized facilitators has trained over 1.2 million parents, youth serving professionals, and organization volunteers in D2L’s award-winning Stewards of Children® child sexual abuse prevention program.