Jacksonville, FL (October 20, 2020) – The Monique Burr Foundation for Children (MBF) successfully rolled out their MBF After School Safety Matters® program – an addition to their already successful comprehensive, research and evidence-based/evidence-informed programs, MBF Child Safety Matters®, MBF Teen Safety Matters®, and MBF Athlete Safety Matters®. To date, more than 4.5 million children and teens have been reached in classroom settings, and now that reach will extend to after-school programs, camps, sports, faith-based, and other youth-serving organizations with the launch of MBF After School Safety Matters. All MBF Prevention Education Programs educate and empower youth to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to the four types of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect), exploitation, bullying, cyberbullying, and digital dangers.
“Our MBF After School Safety Matters program has been in the works for quite some time. Delivering this program during the current global pandemic is critical,” shared Lynn Layton, President of Monique Burr Foundation for Children, “The stay-at-home orders across the country caused many children to be isolated at home with their abusers.” Approximately 90% of sexual abusers are known to the child, such as family members, friends, babysitters, or neighbors. It also caused a decrease in child abuse reports because children were not in daily contact with their Safe Adults, including educators and school counselors who frequently report abuse. This situation now continues with the virtual learning happening across the country for many children. As life slowly returns to normal, children and teens are returning to schools, community centers, sports, and child care, and other youth-serving programs, and they may have a need to talk to a Safe Adult. MBF After School Safety Matters is available now to provide youth with the tools they need to help protect themselves by recognizing abuse and empowering them to report it to Safe Adults.
“Abuse can happen anywhere and it’s imperative we educate children wherever and whenever we can to keep them safe. We must maintain a high standard of safety to protect our children,” Layton said, “MBF After School Safety Matters, including the MBF 5 Safety Rules, helps staff and volunteers open a line of communication with children and teens to allow them to disclose if they’ve been abused.” The 5 Safety Rules are the foundation of all MBF Programs. The MBF Child Safety Matters® curriculum was recently evaluated by field experts Dr. Melissa A. Bright, PhD, University of Florida and Dr. David Finkelhor, PhD, Director of Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, and the study was published by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. The study concluded that children who received the MBF Child Safety Matters® curriculum (grades K-5) increased their knowledge for the safety information and retained the knowledge over a 7-month period. “Giving children prevention education is a deterrent to offenders who will recognize that a child has received this type of education which makes grooming more difficult,” said Dr. Finkelhor.
MBF After School Safety Matters is ideal for extended-day programs, community centers, YMCAs, youth camps, faith-based organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other various youth-serving organizations. The program is easy to implement and the curriculum can be taught in any setting because it does not require technology. The program is cost-effective and an online facilitator training is available to properly teach staff and/or volunteers how to implement the program with the youth they serve.
The Monique Burr Foundation for Children (MBF) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 by Edward E. Burr in honor of his late wife, Monique Burr, a devoted child advocate. MBF Prevention Education Programs, including MBF Child Safety Matters® for elementary schools and MBF Teen Safety Matters® for middle and high schools, MBF Athlete Safety Matters® for youth athletes, as well as MBF After School Safety Matters®, for after-school programs and youth-serving organizations, are evidence-based and evidence-informed primary prevention programs that educate and empower children and all relevant adults with information and strategies to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to bullying, cyberbullying, digital dangers, the four types of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect), exploitation and trafficking. MBF programs have been delivered to over 4.5 million children by 5,000 facilitators since 2010. For more information, visit www.mbfpreventioneducation.org.
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Maria Chrissovergis, MC PR & Marketing
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