A strategy update from CTF Public Education Committee Chair, Melissa Birdsell:
“After coming onto the CTF Board, I was excited to be able to serve on the Public Education Committee. And as someone who works in the field of child advocacy, I was thrilled to learn about the commitment by CTF toward prevention education.
We know, through years of research, that prevention education for children and adults is the key to keeping kids safe. So, going through the process of conducting surveys and learning what Missourians actually think and know about child abuse and other related issues has been fascinating.
With the help and guidance of The Montana Institute, CTF surveyed people accross the state, concentrating on four main areas of concern for Missouri’s children: Safe Sleep, Corporal Punishment, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, and Child Maltreatment Prevention.
Gathering this type of information is vital to making sure CTF and agencies utilizing CTF’s resources are sending appropriate and effective messages to people throughout the State about protecting children. By knowing what people actually believe, we can bridge the gap between actual norms and perceived norms. In this way, we can create effective messages about child safety and affect real change.
Administering the survey was only step one. We must now use the data to create messaging to help people understand the effects of on children and society. CTF can take a leading role from their position in Jefferson City in this messaging.
The CTF staff and board want nothing more than for the children we serve to have safe and happy childhoods. With such a lofty goal, we must have people who are truly dedicated to this purpose. I am grateful to serve alongside of those very types of people.”