‘Something helpful in return’

Published 9:03 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Longwood University social work class is organizing multiple events for the month of April that will serve to engage and educate the Prince Edward community on the subject of child abuse prevention.

Ian Danielsen

This same class presented to the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors for its consideration a proclamation declaring April 2019 “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in the county, and the board adopted it.

The class made its initial proposal during the board’s regular February meeting, accompanied by Ian Danielsen, Longwood assistant professor in the department of Social Work, Communications Sciences and Disorders. The board requested a draft of a proclamation from the class. After receiving it, the board adopted it during its regular March meeting.

Email newsletter signup

But Danielsen noted in an interview Wednesday that organizing April events related to the new theme of the month is also a major part of what he and his class wanted to accomplish.

“We didn’t want to ask for something without offering something helpful in return,” he said. “So we said, ‘Well, what are some things that we can do as a service to the community to actually raise awareness and offer tools for prevention and real resources that will hopefully be more protective of kids and support parents from any and all backgrounds?’”

The class has three events planned at this point.

An on-campus awareness event will be held Monday, April 8, from 2-5 p.m. on Brock Commons at Longwood. Those attending will be offered information on tools for prevention, parent resources and pinwheels for prevention.

“The campus tabling event is kind of awareness raising,” Danielsen said.

Set for Tuesday, April 9, at 2:30 p.m. is a press conference featuring Del. Wendy Gooditis, Prince Edward Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark and social work policy students. The primary location of this event will be at Longwood outside Blackwell Hall. A rain location will be announced later.

Danielsen said he has a strong professional relationship with Gooditis.

“She asked to come to Longwood and be part of the day on April 9,” he said. “Her emphasis as a legislator is in child protection, and her legislation reflects that. I would say the same of Megan Clark.”

He noted that the press conference is meant to communicate the reality that everyone has a role to play in child abuse prevention, whether you are a prosecutor or a legislator or an educator or a student or a member of the community.

Also scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, is a Stewards of Children training session from 5:30-8 p.m. in the Historic Farmville Train Station at 510 W. Third St.

A flyer for the training session cited that the event will teach adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

“Stewards of Children is a very contemporary, up-to-date, sexual abuse prevention training for members of the citizenry and for people in human services as well,” Danielsen said. “And I happen to be an authorized Stewards trainer.”

Danielsen is also the former director of Greater Richmond SCAN Child Advocacy Center, and he still has a relationship with the organization. SCAN stands for Stop Child Abuse Now.

“So during April, my relationship with Greater Richmond SCAN means that I can put on training free of charge to those who attend and give workbooks that are part of the training,” he said.

Those interested in the training session can register by visiting https://stewards-farmvillets.eventbrite.com.

Danielsen and his social work class aim for all three events to work in concert with each other.

“Hopefully our three events dovetail to be a well-rounded kind of small intervention during Child Abuse Prevention Month in Prince Edward,” he said.