Missouri KidsFirst manages the SAFE-CARE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination-Child Abuse Resource and Education) network. SAFE-CARE is Missouri’s medical response to child abuse. Missouri KidsFirst’s handles the SAFE-CARE network’s logistics, facilitates monthly case reviews and provider update sessions, and gathers SAFE-CARE data. Missouri KidsFirst also recruits new SAFE-CARE providers and works with child abuse pediatricians to develop training to ensure that current providers maintain the standards of the SAFE-CARE network as established by the SAFE-CARE Advisory Council.
Pinwheels for Prevention Awareness Campaign
Each April Missouri KidsFirst holds it Pinwheels for Prevention ceremony at the state capitol. At the event, we honor Missourians who have gone above and beyond to help protect kids in the state. Leading up to the event, we take part in numerous activities with partner agencies in order to raise awareness across the state about Child Abuse and Prevention.
Mandated Reporter Training
Too often mandated reporters do not understand their role and duties because they receive little to no education concerning mandated reporting. But mandated reporters play an essential role in protecting Missouri children. We know that reporting can save a child’s life, so Missouri KidsFirst provides mandated reporter training across the state. We do so in-person and we have developed with partners an online Mandated Reporter training. This training equips mandated reporters with the necessary knowledge and training to overcome obstacles and speak up for kids who may be suffering from abuse or neglect. When neglect and abuse are properly reported, the proper institutions and persons have a better chance of getting kids out of unhealthy and dangerous situations.
Stewards of Children
Missouri KidsFirst provides this community training program free. We teach people practical skills to create safer communities that reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. With our help, individuals and then entire communities learn the facts, recognize the signs, and know what to do to prevent child sexual abuse.
The Task Force to Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children
One of Missouri KidsFirst’s great strengths is our ability to gather key stakeholders together to pool their passion and knowledge into tangible goals and outcomes that target a narrowly defined problem. Currently, Missouri KidsFirst leads Missouri’s Task Force on the Prevention of the Sexual Abuse of Children. Child sexual abuse is a complex issue that no one person or agency can hope to adequately address—the issue is simply too overwhelming. When we began shopping the idea of a task force, we were told that even if we were able to form a task force it was unlikely it to produce a report. We were able to both form the task force and complete a quality report that recommended smart, significant changes to how Missouri systems protect kids. We have had the pleasure of working to implement these changes and seeing them improve the lives and safety of Missouri children.
Missouri KidsFirst trains forensic interviewers and members of multi-disciplinary teams to conduct a child abuse case in a child-friendly manner. By increasing the expertise of professionals who investigate child sexual abuse, this training improves the effectiveness of all facets of child abuse cases from disclosure to prosecution to healing.
Victim Advocate Training
Effective victim advocacy requires training in order to provide children and non-offending caregivers the support they need to navigate the difficulties of child abuse investigations and the legal system. Without well-trained victim advocates, critical information may not reach other members of the multidisciplinary team. This can harm both investigations and prosecutorial outcomes. This program teaches advocates effective techniques for serving victimized children and non-offending caregivers.
Multidisciplinary Team Facilitator Training
Multidisciplinary teams (MDT) are the heart and soul of Child Advocacy Centers. This program teaches MDT leaders how to get the most out of their teams by reflecting on the diversity of cognitive styles, learning effective feedback techniques, and providing conflict resolution training. Creating and maintaining excellent MDTs greatly benefits children victimized by abuse.