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Child Sexual Abuse Training for Child Care Professionals: A Multi-Site Randomized Controlled Trial of Stewards of Children

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 16 Dated: 2011 Pages: 374-385
Date Published
12 pages

The authors present the results from their investigation of the Stewards of Children, childhood sexual abuse prevention program, to determine if there was a difference between in-person and web-based formats.


Given the significant rates and deleterious consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), identifying effective primary prevention approaches is a clear priority. There is a growing awareness that childcare professionals such as teachers, childcare personnel, and clergy, are in a unique position to engage in prevention efforts due to high accessibility to children and expertise in child development. However, CSA prevention programs targeting childcare professionals have received insufficient attention. The goal of this study was to conduct an independent multi-site controlled evaluation of an existing CSA prevention program, Stewards of Children, offered through both in-person and web-based formats. This study included 352 childcare professionals recruited from children’s advocacy centers across three states. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: in-person training; web-based training; or waitlist control. Dependent variables included CSA knowledge, CSA attitudes, and self-reported CSA preventive behaviors. Results indicated that Stewards impacted knowledge, attitudes, and preventive behaviors. No differences were found between the in-person and web-based training modalities on knowledge and preventive behaviors. Results indicate that brief trainings for childcare professionals may impact CSA prevention efforts. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2011