SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. January 29, 2024 – San Juan County Superior Court Services is now offering “Stewards of Children” training to organizations within our community. This training was created by the non-profit Darkness to Light with the mission of empowering people to prevent childhood sexual abuse and is now available to the public.
“We believe safety, especially for children, is our greatest responsibility, with shared commitment by adults in the community to advance this aspiration,” said Linnea Anderson, Director of San Juan County’s Superior Court Services Dept. “We look forward to sharing this training with you and your organization.”
The Stewards of Children teaches five steps to reduce opportunities for abuse to occur in the community, identify possible risks of abuse, and create an environment that supports survivors in disclosing abuse. It also teaches about appropriate responses to disclosures of child sexual abuse. This training is available to community organizations and individuals who want to prevent child abuse in San Juan County.
Melanie Kaegi and Cheryl Kringle, trained facilitators, and members of the Superior Court Services staff team, recently presented the training to the County’s Child Advocates in November 2023. Child Advocates spent three hours learning the five steps and practicing their skills through scenarios and discussion. One advocate, Paul Hamdorf, who attended the Stewards of Children training said, “While the subject matter is difficult and troubling, the success stories left us with hope. Most importantly the course outlined strategies to prevent and stop child sexual abuse. Without a doubt, one of the best trainings I have attended.”
If you believe a child is in immediate danger, report to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office or child protective services at 866-END-HARM (866-363-4276). If you want other one-on-one help in determining how to respond appropriately, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or text LIGHT to 741741 or call San Juan County Superior Court Services Dept at 360-378-4620 to schedule a conversation with one of our trained team members.
Become a Child Advocate
Child Advocates are volunteers who represent the “best interests” of a child who is the subject of a dependency case in court due to alleged abuse or neglect. Child Advocates are people from all walks of life, with a desire to help children facing difficult circumstances. Child Advocates get ongoing training and support with other Child Advocates through the Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program of the Superior Court Services Department.
If you are interested in learning more about scheduling a Stewards of Children training for yourself or your organization, or are interested in becoming a Child Advocate, please contact Cheryl Kringle at Superior Court Services at: 360-206-9709.
About San Juan County’s Superior Court Services
San Juan County’s Superior Court Services Department envisions a healthier and safer community. It is home to the following services: Integrated Therapeutic Juvenile Court Services, the Child Advocate-Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program, Public Defender Screening Program, Family Law- Courthouse Facilitator Program, and Therapeutic Court Alternatives. The department central office is located at 350 Court Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Superior Court Services, visit www.sanjuancountywa.gov/194/Superior-Court-Services.