Stewards of Children is a movement that strives to educate adults on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to child sexual abuse. This program has been in place at New Hope since April of 2011 with the hope that it will assist in our mission. Because our team members see the faces of caregivers and children who are faced with multiple feelings and the uncertainty of what tomorrow brings on a daily basis it is important to continue to educate our community. The national statistic is that one in ten children in our county will be affected by abuse before the age of 18. In Blount County, that number comes out to 2,600 children victimized by abuse in any given year. Twenty six hundred!
Through hope, our organization is fighting that number. In 2016, we trained nearly five hundred new stewards of children, adults and caregivers who are now knowledgeable about spotting the signs of abuse and what to do if they suspect it. Every day, more people are looking out for the children of Blount County instead of turning a blind eye. This is exciting but our mission still continues. We need to educate all of our community and teach every adult how to better to protect their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
This past year, we served five hundred children, providing them with the care, services, and hope that they needed to move forward and live healthy, happy lives. We have been able to expand our services and the techniques we use to treat clients.
You all are the reason we are able to help the children of our community who are living in fear. You help to provide hope by supporting us and educating yourselves. It is our responsibility as members of this community to be stewards of children, to be voices for those who haven’t found theirs and hope for those that need a light.
We continue. We move forward. We persist. New Hope is the agency that overcomes because hope is the only thing stronger than fear.
Written by: Hannah Rials & Nicole Wicker
(For more information about the Stewards of Children program please contact Becky Rials at the New Hope office 981-2000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)