Letter from the President
Dear RTC Leaders,
Welcome to this first newsletter from ICAP, Inc.!
We have all been through a difficult couple of years in our different roles in supporting and directing CAP services. During this time, we have been in contact with each of you individually at one point or another, and held some regional ZOOM meetings. This newsletter is a response to something you asked for during those networking meetings, and when we surveyed you back in 2019 – a way to keep up with what is happening in other RTCs and share insights, issues, and problem solving.
Based on our conversations with you, we are acutely aware of how differently each RTC was affected by the pandemic restrictions on school-based services. Many of you found innovative ways to keep offering services, either virtually, or tailor-made to your communities and circumstances. For others it has been even more difficult in terms of the economics of your centers. The ICAP Board of Directors (on which a few of you serve) is in admiration of your determination and adaptability in maintaining your centers and continuing our goal of protecting the rights and welfare of the children we serve.
ICAP, Inc. has had difficulties over the last couple of years, as well. We have found it more challenging to attract funding than we anticipated, and are in the process of consulting with a number of experts regarding our best options moving forward. In the meantime, we have:
- Formalized our relationship as a ‘Country Partner’ with the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) for the second year. We have provided ISPCAN with both a webinar on CAP (attended by more than 140 people from 35 countries), and provided a virtual workshop session at ISPCAN’s Quebec International Congress with terrific participation from our Canadian RTCs.
- Completed new contracts with each RTC, and assisted a few of you in navigating issues that you have brought to our attention.
- Welcomed new members to the ICAP Board of Directors: Kim Pinto who will take over Jeannette Collins’ slot representing NJCAP, now that Jeannette has left that role and moved entirely to ICAP; David Singleton, Coordinator of the Montreal RTC, who has more than 30 years’ experience with CAP, and we welcome back Iva Buconjić, who has returned from maternity leave to coordinate CAP Croatia (with thanks to Martina Podobnik who served while Iva was away).
- The CAP service survey for 2021-22 that we have recently sent you will provide us with a better sense of how our system has weathered the pandemic storm, and should help guide our future efforts to support you work. We’ll let you know the results through a private space on our website that will be developed over the next couple of months.
I invite you to read through our newsletter. We have highlighted two North American RTCs and will be asking two RTCs from other parts of the world to be highlighted in the next newsletter – we are planning to have three per year, so please let us know if you would like to be featured in our winter/spring edition.
A final note of congratulations to Jeannette Collins, our volunteer Executive Director, as she retires from her career with New Jersey CAP, where she managed the creation of many of the CAP curricula, and designed and implemented the training that has fostered so many programs throughout the U.S. and beyond.
by Jeannette Collins
In January 1986, I began my work with CAP at an Elementary training, where over 100 individuals interested in the welfare of children were also in attendance. That training was an eye-opening experience. I came away from it with a better understanding of the issue of child abuse. It helped me to realize that many people are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and that it was necessary to take responsibility and stand up for the rights of those who could not do so themselves. Little did I know that this initial CAP training would take me on a lifelong journey, providing me with a 36-year career, empowering children (and adults) to be Safe, Strong & Free.
During my career with CAP, I was a facilitator providing classroom workshops in all CAP Programs including; Early Childhood, Elementary, Teen, Special Needs and Bullying Prevention, as well as adult presentations. In 1989, I became a CAP Coordinator for Gloucester County, New Jersey. While Coordinating CAP, I oversaw the running of the program in schools and provided training to CAP facilitators. In 1991, I took over the Coordination of Salem County, New Jersey as well, continuing to gain skills and knowledge in all areas pertaining to child abuse and its prevention. In 1996, the opportunity to work in the NJ CAP State Office as a Regional Supervisor and Coordinator of the TEEN CAP Program was presented. Along with this role came the responsibility of overseeing many of the county CAP Projects in NJ. Ten years later in 2006, our director Pat Stanislaski retired, and Cheryl Mojta and I were selected as Co-Directors of NJ CAP and ICAP. It was an exciting time for us. The experience gained from working with ICAP/NJCAP allowed for significant personal growth which has helped to shape the person I am. In 2020 Cheryl Mojta retired from ICAP/NJCAP, and I took on the role of Executive Director.
Being director has been a wonderful experience and has helped me, even more so, to appreciate all of the individuals that keep this project going around the world. The ICAP Regional Training Centers have been extremely supportive throughout the years. I have been delighted to meet many of these individuals in person through CAP trainings and conferences. Our Advisory Board Members for both NJCAP and ICAP have been instrumental in helping CAP continue its work, and grow. I would like to give a special acknowledgement to Dr. Phil Brown, President of ICAP Board for his tireless work at maintaining the ICAP network.
CAP has given me the chance to work with so many incredible people, with common goals, and to share the knowledge that had been imparted to me by my predecessors. The NJ CAP Network of facilitators, coordinators and the State Office have been my home away from home for over 36 years. It is hard to believe that it is time for me to say goodbye to NJ CAP. On June 30, 2022 I retired from my position as Director of NJCAP. I leave that role in the capable hands of Dodi Schultz and Kim Pinto, who have been with NJCAP for many years and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their new positions. Best of luck to both Dodi and Kim as they lead the NJCAP Network through this next phase.
I am dedicated to the CAP mission which is to improve the quality of life for children worldwide by reducing the level of violence against them through the use of primary prevention education and specifically through the use of the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program in their communities. For the future, I remain the Executive Director of ICAP and will continue to work with all the ICAP projects around the world. I thank you all for everything that you have done to empower children everywhere to be Safe, Strong & Free. With that I say adios, arrivederci, au revoir, sayonara, annyeong, dovidenja, zai jian, nagemist and until we meet again.
All the best,
RTC Profile News
News from the Regroupement des organismes ESPACE du Québec
A lot of work has been done and the workshops have slowly resumed in person. We have revised the workshop for children aged 10 to 12 to better reflect reality with regard to egalitarian intimate relationships, the notion of consent, respect for differences and the use of social media. The translation will be finished by the holiday season. We also worked on updating the adult workshop.
The ROEQ has also set up meetings for facilitators from different regions of Quebec to share their experiences or their ways of doing things in presenting workshops. A first meeting was held on March 24, 2021 and involved 40 CAP-ESPACE facilitators.
The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)
We participated with Phil and Jeannette at the ISPCAN congress by presenting the ROEQ and its particularities in prevention in the province of Quebec. A most rewarding experience. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, the ISPCAN 2022 Congress of the Americas Organizing Committee made the decision to make the event fully virtual, with no in-person delegates.
Futuraville : Together against violence
We have also finalized the translation into English of the online game Futuraville: Together against violence. A fun and educational game in child assault prevention for kids 9 to 12 years old. In Futuraville, 5 kids are going through difficult situations, they need your help! Find the kid in the town, search for clues to understand situations and help them find solutions to feel better.
News from New Jersey Child Assualt Prevention (NJCAP)
New and Exciting Ways to Bring CAP to Schools
The 2021/22 school year brought with it new and exciting ways to provide CAP to the schools. With Covid still presenting challenges in many schools, and sometimes preventing CAP from providing in-person workshops, NJCAP had to adjust how they were able to provide classroom training. One such way was to employ virtual classroom presentations for Elementary, Teen and Bullying Prevention. These workshops, presented remotely through Zoom, Google Classroom and Google Meets and with PowerPoint, gave them the opportunity to utilize video vignettes of role plays. This allowed NJCAP to continue providing CAP workshops in schools, despite Covid protocols. In most cases, virtual presentations did not allow for review time; to accommodate for that it was arranged for a contact person from the school to attend all virtual workshops. This person would provide their contact information in the chat, subsequently reaching out to children who indicated they needed help, or whom they thought were in distress during the workshop. This method was successful in providing help for children who needed intervention. See our success stories below:
- County CAP Host agency shared that some of the Crisis Intervention Counseling Staff had been told by their school-aged clients that they decided to disclose their sexual assault experiences after participating in virtual CAP workshops and were referred for counseling. It is gratifying to know that the workshops are creating the bridge to healing for the students.
- Several weeks after completion of the virtual CAP workshops, the school contact person reached out to the Coordinator and stated several young women had come forward and disclosed to her that a security guard made them feel uncomfortable with his comments. One child stated the security guard had rubbed her hands in a way that made her feel uncomfortable and another said he walked her home without a female guard or teacher (which is school protocol). She also indicated that the students that came forward were the “problem” students and suspected he intentionally sought this population out. After the students disclosed, several female teachers said they had experienced similar encounters with this guard and although it made them uncomfortable, they just tried to ignore it or avoid him. An institutional abuse case was started, and the guard was removed from the school. The school contact person wasn’t sure of what happened next, but wanted to thank CAP. She stated she thought these students wouldn’t have come forward and most likely wouldn’t have been believed had they told someone else. She was glad they chose to come to her. She believed CAP’s message of empowerment spurred these students to tell someone they trusted and knew would help them. It also created a chain effect where it encouraged adults at the school to come forward and potentially stopped him from hurting other children.
For the schools that permitted CAP facilitators to present live and in-person workshops, CAP provided the essential trainings for students preschool through 12th grade. Facilitators have worked hard this year to give children the information they need to be Safe, Strong & Free.
This school year NJCAP’s Level of Service was the following:
354 schools implemented
9,835 adults in workshops
61,112 children in CAP Workshops
13,002 children at Review Time (Many workshops were virtual with no Review Time, so the numbers are lower than normal.)
4,062 children reported problems
267 children reported situations that were referred to staff in the school
35 children reported situations that were referred outside the school to Child Protective Services
Do you want your RTC featured in a future newsletter? Submit your article here for consideration.
After hearing Teen CAP Day 3, a teacher approached the CAP facilitators with tears in his eyes and said that he had been raped by a girl when he was in 9th grade. He spent years not understanding that what happened was wrong and trying to figure out why it bothered him so much. Only later did he talk to a therapist and get help. He thanked us for the presentation and said he wishes he had it when he was younger. He felt that it will prevent his students from going through the same emotional pain he had been through.
Recently I attended a High School graduation and was seated at a table with School Board Members. It was a very empowering event and the topic of how important this high school is to the students in recovery was being discussed. During that discussion a school board member turned to me to tell me that the CAP program is also important to students. She said that CAP changed her life when she was in elementary school. She was a victim of child abuse and had not told anyone until she spoke to a CAP facilitator during review time.
A Coordinator facilitated a parent workshop virtually. As the workshop went on the parents became very engaged. They began to speak about their own trauma and things they had experienced. One parent began crying and expressed feeling safe and comfortable enough to reveal things she has not talked about in a long time. She stated she wanted to protect her children from “what she went through” and felt the workshop helped her have conversations no one had with her. Another parent stated she had been in therapy in the past, but after having the workshop she stated she was going to reconnect with her therapist after having this workshop and begin family counseling for herself and her children. Although our primary focus is children, these parent workshops are such a crucial and integral part of the CAP program. This workshop was a striking example of parental resilience being one of the 5 protective factors to strengthen families.
Please submit your Impact Stories to email@example.com for the next edition of ICAP Newsletter by March 15, 2023.
Hospital emergency departments in Europe lack policy and strategies for spotting child neglect or abuse[I]
In a survey of emergency department staff from across Europe, only around half said their hospital has a policy in place to help staff identify children who are being neglected or abused.
The research, presented at the European Emergency Medicine Congress, also shows that when hospitals have policies and accompanying guidelines in place, they are more likely to use strategies such as screening tools and staff training that are known to be effective in identifying children who are maltreated. Here is a synopsis of the whole study: https://www.newswise.com/articles/hospital-emergency-departments-lack-policy-and-strategies-for-spotting-child-neglect-or-abuse?sc=dwhn&user=10049751
 The European Emergency Medicine Congress (EUSEM 2022)