Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) is the only nonprofit in the state of Utah who’s purpose is solely dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Established in 1982, PCAU offers parents and caregivers the tools and resources they need to support their children through our Parents as Teachers program. PCAU also educates students, school personnel and community members across Utah to recognize, resist and report abuse through our various prevention curricula.
How it works
Educate, engage, and empower
Our child abuse prevention curricula educates and engages children in ways that empower them to listen to their feelings, and communicate negative emotions and unsafe experiences to adults. Presentations for each grade level are given in individual classrooms to better facilitate participation and discussion. Each grade has its own unique curriculum that utilizes a combination of class discussion, visual aids, books, and interactive games and activities to teach students safety skills. Younger elementary students (K-2) are taught basic concepts that focus on teaching students to listen to their “uh-oh” feeling and seek out help from trusted adults. Older elementary students (3rd-6th) are taught the proper terminology for the different types of abuse, analyze real-world cases of child abuse, and explore various strategies for getting help from trusted adults. Secondary students (7th-12th) are able to deepen their understanding of the types of child abuse, including shaken baby syndrome. Through study and discussion of real world scenarios of abuse, students are also asked to consider how they will treat children as they approach adulthood. The curriculum is approved by the Utah State Board of Education, and the Department of Human Services.
Communication and Prevention
Here’s Our “Why”
Our purpose in offering this training is two-fold. First, we hope to open lines of communication between adults and the children in their school. When adults are willing to have conversations with students about difficult or culturally taboo subjects, like child abuse, they automatically become the defacto adult that children feel comfortable discussing the topic with. In the days and weeks following your presentations, students may seek you out in order to clarify a certain topic, or ask you about something they read or saw on TV and whether or not it is considered abuse. They may even come forward and disclose abuse that has happened to them or to someone they know, and that’s the point. It is our hope that this curriculum and training will help you create a safe-space where you can act as a trusted adult and facilitate life-saving conversations with your students.
Our second purpose is to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place by implementing preventative measures wherever possible. Knowledge is power, and as children learn to identify abuse, and unsafe situations, they will be better able to avoid them and seek help before any sort of abuse occurs. Open conversations, free from feelings of shame and embarrassment, protect children from abuse by giving them the space to ask questions and seek help from adults. By implementing protective factors, as discussed in the prevention module of this training, you will be able to better support the parents and families at your school by combatting the conditions that increase the likelihood of abuse.
Prevention may be more thankless than intervention, but it is just as important if not MORE important. The fruits of preventative efforts often go unnoticed precisely because the abuse never occurred. Adopting a prevention-based mindset can involve growing pains for faculty, parents, administrators, and counselors, but we are confident that it leads to the best outcomes for children. We want you to put us out of business! We want every family to be supported, and for every child to be safe from abuse. Thank you for joining us in this fight!