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How School Counselors Can Help Children and Parents Deal with Abuse

Posted by Sandra On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Child abuse is a problem that is prevalent in society. School counselors have a legal and ethical duty to report any case of suspected child abuse to the authorities. However, simply transferring child abuse cases to child protection services doesn’t always return the results expected, and children are often stuck in the same abusive situations.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention and prevention is capital for the well-being and development of a child. In a perfect world, abuse doesn’t happen, but in the cases where it does, early intervention allows professionals to address some of the issues immediately and remove the child from the situation, which minimizes the trauma the child has to suffer.

The Importance of Formation

Every school or college should have a solid prevention plan in place to assist victims of abuse. The first step in implementing a prevention plan is to educate all school personnel on the prevalence of child abuse and implement school safeguarding policies to counteract it. This usually starts with the college counselor or school counselor. Most school counselor courses, such as the Wake Forest University program, have modules specific to dealing with the situation.

School counselors are often the only resource a children can access when dealing with abuse at home. School counselors can facilitate the training of other school personnel since they have a wealth of experience on the subject.

Identifying the Signs

One of the first steps in the formation of a safeguarding team is teaching how to identify early signs of child abuse. However, it is important for them to know that signs and symptoms often related with child abuse are not always caused by abuse, so it’s important not to jump to conclusions.

Once early signs have been detected, it is the job of the school counselor to consult the student and question them about their situation at home. Only by questioning the student will the counselor be able to truly tell if they’re dealing with abuse.

Consistency is important when implementing any program. This is why the rules and regulations concerning suspected cases of abuse should be uniform and clearly stated in writing. Clear protocols should be set in place in case of suspected child abuse and each department should be fully aware of the set of procedures that must be taken in case some of the common signs are noticed.

What about the Parents?

Sadly, school personnel are somewhat limited when it comes to addressing the usual perpetrators: the parents. However schools can work in parallel with other community agencies to provide guidance and assistance to parents dealing with difficulties. School counselors can provide guidance on good parental care and steer parents towards resources that could help them in becoming better parents.

The role of a school counselor goes far beyond simply helping students in their day to day activities and providing moral support. They play an essential role in the prevention and prosecution of child abuse cases. Anyone entering this profession should be aware of that fact and understand fully what will be expected of them once they land this position.



How to ensure your school can spot the signs of child abuse

How To: Recognize The Warning Signs of Child Abuse

The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse

UNICEF – Teachers Talking




Fighting Child Abuse with the Help of Parental Controls

Posted by Sandra On August - 6 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Fighting Child Abuse with the Help of Parental Controls

parent-controls-1As a parent, you can leave nothing to chance while engaged in an uphill battle against child abuse. One of the biggest challenges that you are likely to face throughout the battle is timely detection of the threat. While physical abuse is easy to spot, detecting psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse is a different ball game altogether. Fortunately, technology has provided an excellent solution to the problem in the form of parental controls. Often described as an essential parenting tool in today’s day and age by popular tech sites like TechoMag, they allow parents to spot signs of trouble in time and pull their kids out of nightmarish situations. There are several ways in which parental controls have been playing their part in the war against child abuse.

Unblinking Supervision of Online Interactions

The advent of web-connected devices and social networking sites has massively increased kids’ susceptibility to emotional and psychological abuse. The kind of freedom and lack of policing on digital platforms has resulted in kids being subjected to insults, name calling, threats, blackmailing, and rejection on frequent basis. This is precisely why anxiety and depression has grown so common among the younger generation in recent years. Parental tools resolve this issue to a large extent by empowering parents to view everything their kids do and come across online. It not only allows them to quickly become aware of their kids’ ongoing ordeal, but also counters the problem of kids remaining silent about their sufferings and trying to face everything on their own.

Defense Against Dangerous Elements

Internet is a huge and unpredictable beast. Allowing kids to roam it freely is perhaps one of the biggest mistake a parent can make. The cyber space is plagued with threats like online predators, sexual predators, blackmailers, and so much more. Equipped with a cunning mind and the skill to persuade the impressionable minds of their young targets, these dangerous elements are relentless and unforgiving. Parents have a better chance of keeping their kids safe from the clutches of such people by deploying a parental control on guard duty. Aside from supervision, these tools also allow internet filtering in order to erect an impenetrable digital wall separating kids from web areas where dangerous elements are known to exist in abundance. Of course this may not go down well with the kids, but there is no other reliable way to keep them at a safe distance from predators and other threats.

Protection That Extends Beyond the Cyber Realm

When parental controls are mentioned, the first thought that pops into mind is digital protection. Yes, they provide digital protection, but their capability and benefits do not end there. As a matter of fact, parental controls are known to have played a considerable role in helping parents save their kids from becoming victims of sexual abuse by revealing their exact coordinates through GPS tracking and allowing them to reach their kids in time. Location tracking has become a standard feature in parental controls, and has been serving its purpose exceptionally well. If the prevalence of smartphones and popularity of social networking sites among the younger generation gave predators and other dangerous element the idea that they would be able to freely hunt their prey, they are mistaken because as long as parental control tools are around, parents will continue to have the upper hand.

Five Ways to Teach Compassion, Empathy, and Kindness to Our Children

Posted by Sandra On October - 6 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

5-Ways-to-Compassion-Empathy-and-Kindness-to-Our-Children-565x385Each morning before I sit down to write, I take a quick glance through my Facebook feed, catching up on friend news for the day when I came across this adorably humorous 3 minute video that served as a reminder of the importance of teaching our kids social and emotional intelligence as well as academic skills. The above served as a wonderful way to start a new day but also served as an important reminder about why teaching compassion, empathy, and kindness are so critical. READ MORE HERE

New Car Seat Aims To Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Posted by Sandra On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

186880_630x354Wal-Mart and Evenflo have announced an exclusive one-year deal to sell a new car seat that is designed to prevent hot car deaths. According to Evenflo, a new model of their car seats will incorporate “SensorSafe Technology,” which communicates through a chip in the seat’s chest harness and a receiver attached to the vehicle. If the car’s ignition is shut off with the chest clip still fastened, an alarm will sound. READ MORE HERE

5 Ways Parents Can Combat Child Sexual Abuse, Bullying this Summer

Posted by Sandra On July - 4 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

capture-20150706-223110By Joelle Casteix

It’s July and summer is in full force. Kids have had time to shake off the last remnants of school projects, report cards, and tests, and are now focusing on what’s important: having fun. They are off to camp, playing video games, and running around outside well past dinner. Community pools are at capacity. You’re surrounded by sunburn, bug bites, and bickering.

But summer is about more than just hot weather. Children are relishing the new freedoms summer offers. Without the constant watchful eyes of teachers, kids can interact freely, test new boundaries, and have the ability to be far more self-sufficient and creative with their time. When they aren’t complaining about being bored, of course.

With this freedom comes challenge. No one wants to think about bullying and child sexual abuse when we should be focusing on swimming and lemonade stands. But anytime your child is out in the world, he or she can encounter people and situations that are scary.

If you armor and prepare your child with real tools, self-esteem, and decision-making skills, your child will do much more than have fun. Your child will blossom and grow. By the time fall rolls around, you will send a more mature and confident child off to school.

Here are five things you can do to help your child have a safer summer:

1) Teach your child to have strong body boundaries. Do not force very young children to hug or kiss adults. Tell your children that they have power over their own bodies and must show respect for their own and other people’s bodies and space. For older children, reinforce the fact that no one is to ever touch them anywhere if they don’t want it. Tell them that “no means no” when it comes to wrestling, tickling, hugging, etc. Encourage your child to take a self-defense class. Tell your children that no one if to look at, touch, or take pictures of their genitalia, and vice versa.

2) Show your children the importance of following their “gut.” Summertime is full of new people, situations, locations, and events—many of which will be totally unfamiliar to your child. Fortunately, your child has a special weapon: the gut instinct. Even scientists call the gut our “second brain,” with capabilities to harbor emotions, reactions, and instinctual decision-making capabilities. Talk to your child about his or her gut feelings. Discuss times when you or your child didn’t follow that “gut instinct” and ended up in trouble. Show that when your child’s gut tells says it’s a bad idea, it probably is.

3) Explain sleepover and overnight camp rules. Now that your child has stronger body boundaries and understands how to use his or her gut, talk about sleepovers and overnight camp rules. Make sure your child knows that he or she is never to be behind a closed door with an adult. Reinforce that an adult should never ask a child to keep a secret—especially if someone is hurt or there may be abuse involved. Tell your child that it’s always okay to report suspicious or bad behavior, even if someone threatens them if they do. Tell your child that it’s okay and safe to tell you anything, even if your child has done something wrong or against the rules.

4) Empower your child against bullies. Most children will be bullied at some time in their lives. Summertime is no exception. Tell your child that it is okay to stand up to aggressors if they see or experience bullying. Show them that it is safe to report bullying. Help prevent cyber bullying by requiring that all internet-enable technology remain in common areas of your home. Teach your child Internet safety and monitor your child’s use of the Internet. Do not be afraid to step in and respond if your see bullying behavior at the beach or playground. Do not tolerate or condone aggressive, bullying behavior in your child. If your child is bullied at a camp or organized activity, report immediately and demand action.

5) Communicate, communicate, communicate. The most important weapon in your child safety arsenal is open communication with your child. Encourage frank and honest conversations with your children. Ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a yes or no answer). Answer their questions as honestly as you can. Spend time together. Time with you is the best gift you can give your child and the best thing you can do to prevent child sexual abuse.

A former journalist, educator, and public relations professional, Joelle Casteix has taken her own experience as a victim of child sex crimes and devoted her career to exposing abuse, advocating on behalf of survivors, and spreading abuse prevention strategies for parents and communities. She has presented to hundreds of audiences all over the world, including on the TEDx stage, on subjects such as abuse prevention, victim outreach, victims’ rights in the civil justice system, and parenting safer children. She is a regular speaker for the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma and The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Casteix’s blog, The Worthy Adversary, is one of the leading sources for information and commentary on child sexual abuse prevention and exposure. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and completed graduate work in education at the University of Colorado, Denver. A wanna-be ski bum, she lives in southern California with her husband and young son.

Her new book The Well-Armored Child: A Parents Guile to Preventing Sexual Abuse will be available on Amazon.com on September 15, 2015 as well as at other fine booksellers.  To learn more visit: www.WellArmoredChild.com, or visit her on Facebook.

Broken Christmases: Past and Present

Posted by Sandra On December - 23 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

xmas-broken-fyAround the world on Christmas Eve, millions of children will excitedly fall asleep, “…nestled all snug in their beds… while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads” (as the poem by Clement Moore says).  Many others will go to bed terrified, or at the very least uneasy about what the next day might bring.  Christmas is a “big forever year”. By that I mean we often remember our Christmases in isolation (particularly our childhood Christmases), almost as though they are a separate life in themselves.  For some the “forever years” of Christmases past bring back nostalgic memories of fun with family and friends, whilst for others the memories are not so rosy.  We all know that Christmas can also bring some major stress and children often end up in the firing line of adult anxiety. READ MORE HERE

Graco Recalls 4.7M Strollers

Posted by Sandra On November - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

RECALL: Graco recalling 4.7M strollers for amputation hazard

graco_1416490290149_9701180_ver1.0_640_480Graco announced they are voluntarily recalling 4.7 million strollers because of a risk of pinching or cutting a child’s finger. ABC News is reporting there are about 4.7 million strollers in the U.S., more than 200,000 in Canada and 10,300 in Mexico. The recall spans 11 different models sold between Aug. 1, 2000 and Nov. 19, 2014. The recall includes strollers with model names Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierrea, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate. READ MORE HERE

Parent Advisory: Laundry Pods Poisoning Children

Posted by Sandra On November - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Thousands of Children Poisoned by Laundry Detergent Pods

Tide-Pods-jpgAccording to Pediatrics Online, there were more than 17,000 poison center calls involving children under the age of 6 accidentally swallowing the pods. One child died last year. Last year a Florida mother of a 7-month-old came back to her room to find that her baby had accidentally eaten one of those bright colored laundry detergent pods. He had been sleeping in a laundry basket with the pod when it happened. They rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late. He died, of poisoning from the detergent, according to the Kissimmee, Florida, police department. He is not the first child to mistake the potent packet for something else. READ MORE HERE

Updates On Product Recalls

Posted by Sandra On November - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

a_parents_recallsThe best way to ensure you will be contacted about product recalls is to fill out and send in the registration card that comes with your product when you purchase it. If you threw away the registration card or received the product from a friend or relative as a hand-me-down, you can still check the product for recalls. Visit the product manufacturer’s website or call the toll-free number listed on the product to check on possible recalls or expired products. You will need to know the product model number and manufacturer date, which is located on a sticker on the product. READ MORE HERE



Toy and Product Recall Finder (parents.com)

Top 5 Dangerous Recalled Child Products

New Crib Standards: What Parents Need to Know


Parental Warning: Temporary Halloween Tattoos Causing Severe Burns

Posted by Sandra On October - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

capture-20141020-143437Halloween, fun and easy accessories can go a long way. But for one North East family, a Halloween facial cosmetic sent their daughter to the ER. Seven-year-old Haily was excited to go to a Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom on October 5th. It was her first trip to Walt Disney World. She dressed up as a peacock, and used “Fright Night” eye-shadow tattoos that her family purchased at the Walmart in Harborcreek. Fourty-eight hours after the party her eyes were red, swollen, and raw. READ MORE HERE

WARNING: These temporary tattoos are currently being sold at: CVS, Drug Mart, Face Values, Fred Meyer, Giant Eagle, HEB, Kinney Drugs, Kmart, Magic Mart, Marcs, Meijer, Rite Aid, SaveMart, Shopko, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens and Walmart.

Patches and The Feelings Tree

Posted by Sandra On October - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Who Is Patches?

1503825_1543606572519191_4753918090392335623_nPatches is a sweet and loveable bear who helps children learn how to communicate their emotions and feelings, especially when they may need to ask for help. Patches was created to help develop an inner strength in our children, by teaching them how to quiet their minds, calm their bodies name and manage their emotions. When we encourage emotional learning we build a strong foundation for communication and self-awareness. Emotional and social learning beginning at a young age can encourage a stronger sense of self and how we relate to others and they to us.

Patches and The Feelings Tree BOOK

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about Patches The Bear and how he meets “Feelings” for the first time in the Twilight Forest. The book is very applicable to young children, especially those who are just learning how to deal with newfound emotions. Please watch our promotional video to the left to learn more about the book and Patches The Bear.
Pre-Order 10-01-2014. Limited Edition books are available Mid-November.

Orders can be placed via PayPal through their website – patcheskids.org

PATCHES Facebook Page

PATCHES YouTube Page

How To Talk To Your Child About Sexual Abuse

Posted by Sandra On January - 12 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

431675152_640Parents who consider their children “safe” from sexual victimization live in false security and set a dangerous course for their families. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 67 percent of all sexual assault victims are children. Another study by the National Center for Victims of Crime (2000) shows that 33 percent of girls (1 out of 3) are sexually abused before the age of 18. Sixteen percent of boys (roughly 1 out of 6) are sexually abused before the age of 18. These alarming figures demonstrate why parents must work diligently to keep their children out of potential risky situations and teach them what to do if someone tries to exploit them sexually.

The person most likely to sexually abuse your child is a person your child knows – and trusts. The sex offender looks for a child who trusts him and can be convinced to stay quiet about inappropriate physical contact. It could be a family member, close relative, neighbor, or trusted youth worker. Discussing sexuality and/or sexual abuse with your child can be uncomfortable, but in today’s world responsible parents cannot afford to skirt the issue. Here are some practical suggestions to incorporate in your home… READ MORE HERE


Talking to Your Child About Sexual Abuse

How and When to Talk to Your Child About Sexual Abuse

10 Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse


Protecting Your Children: Advice from Child Molesters (PDF)

Child Abuse Damage Lasts A Lifetime

Posted by Sandra On January - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

imagesThe effects of childhood sexual and physical abuse last a lifetime. Abused children may grow up to be adults prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other psychiatric disorders. They are more prone to suicide. However, in recent years we have learned that abuse does more than wound self-esteem and break the spirit. It can damage the very substance of the brain and how it functions. A major way by which childhood abuse can disrupt normal brain activity is by diminishing its capacity to handle stress. Stress is more than the worry and distress we experience when the circumstances of life push us beyond our limits. The body’s response to stress is a complex biological mechanism. When the brain senses that the body is being taxed beyond its usual capacity, it initiates the stress response by releasing a substance called corticotrophin releasing hormone, or CRH. CRH stimulates the pituitary gland to release ACTH that, in turn, triggers the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, from the adrenal glands. Cortisol marshals the body’s resources to provide the extra energy and endurance to meet the demands being placed upon it. Once, this might have been escaping an angry mastodon. Today, it would more likely be getting used to a new job, a nasty divorce, or recovering from surgery. READ MORE HERE

Parenting: “The Bully Too Close To Home”

Posted by Sandra On December - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

downloadDuring the two years of my overly distracted life, I communicated more to a screen than to the people in my family. My schedule was so tightly packed that I constantly found myself saying, “We don’t have time for that.” And because there wasn’t a minute to spare, that meant no time to relax, be silly, or marvel at interesting wonders along our path. I was so focused on my “agenda” that I lost sight of what really mattered.

Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most.

Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter.  READ MORE HERE

PARENTING: Omit The Ticking Clock

Posted by Sandra On December - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Slow-Down-525x351A few months ago, I wrote about an epiphany I experienced while watching my daughter eat a sno-cone during a summer trip to the beach.Truth be told, it was our second trip to The Sno-Cone Shack in three days. (These were not your average sno-cones.) This time, my daughter got a scoop of wedding cake and a scoop of cherry. I don’t think I will ever forget how delicious that unlikely combination of flavors tasted. You see, my daughter gave me the very last bite. Because I didn’t rush her. Because I allowed her to take her time. Because that big ol’ ticking clock that I wore around my neck during my impatient Hurry Up Years had been left behind. Without the squeeze of that ticking clock around my throat, I could breathe; my child could breathe. I was all there with my daughter on that unforgettable day. READ MORE HERE



The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’ – Hands Free Mama

The Unhurried Child | Parenting | Disney Family.com

10 Simple Ways to Slow Down & Make Your Child’s Day

11 Ways Your Child Loses When You Rush Him Through Life

Learning to Enjoy Our Children | Passionate Homemaking

The Number One Rule To Enjoying Your Kids More | Zen Family 

The Frazzled Child: 9 Reasons to Slow Down | Psychology Today





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OUR MISSION: To educate the public on child abuse signs & symptoms, statistics, intervention, reporting, prevention & assist victims & survivors in locating the proper resources necessary to enable & achieve a full recovery.

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