Archdiocesan Abuse Education Effort Begins 15th Year
Communication & Mission Promotion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 11, 2017
As Catholic school students resume classes, the Partnering to Protect Children child abuse and peer abuse prevention is set to begin its 15th year of operation in Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools, with 22 schools already scheduled.
Since 2003, a total of 70,144 students, 956 parents and 923 school staff members at our schools have taken part in the school-based program conducted by the Council on Child Abuse (COCA) under contract with the Archdiocese.
“COCA’s evidence-based program effectively addresses and prevents violent, abusive behaviors where children live and learn,” said Kathleen F. Cave, Program Coordinator. “We are confident that our prevention programs will help create safer environments, allowing for greater academic, social, and emotional growth for the students, parents, and teachers of the Greater Cincinnati area. COCA is particularly excited about our expanded Bullying and Internet Safety curriculum and looks forward to seeing its impact in schools.”
COCA developed the program to help educators, parents, and children in grades K-12 define and identify child abuse, peer abuse/bullying and other inappropriate behaviors, and teach practical steps to address these problems in schools.
First, COCA staff members make presentations to school personnel and parents prior to the presentations to children. Then trained professionals use DVDs, interactive discussions, small group activities, role-playing, and follow-up handouts with the children. After classroom presentations, children have an opportunity to speak individually with COCA staff to ask questions or share concerns. Children’s disclosures requiring adult intervention are forwarded to the appropriate personnel or authorities for action and follow-up support.
At the Archdiocesan schools involved in the program since 2003, COCA reports that there have been:
- 3,052 children identified as needing intervention of some sort;
- 1,909 disclosures of current, previous or possible bullying;
- 619 disclosures of family or other concerns, including witnessing domestic violence and animal abuse;
- 118 disclosures of current, previous or possible sexual abuse;
- 97 reports to Children’s Services;
- 155 disclosures of current, previous or possible physical abuse.
Before the creation of Partnering to Protect Children as an Archdiocese-coordinated and funded program, COCA had supplied programs to 90 Archdiocesan schools on an individual basis from 1990 to 2002. Those efforts reached almost 26,000 students, almost 800 parents and 350 staff members.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the sixth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.