Local Strategy

Our strategic plan is to create a Prevent Now Initiative in each county. This initiative brings together key organizations, leaders, churches, youth-serving organizations, parents and concerned adults who drive the initiative. The role of the initiative is to generate as many opportunities as possible for the Stewards of Children training.

The idea is that wherever a child goes, the adults responsible for that child all have the same basic skills to keep that child safe. So when the child is at home, at school, at the after-school program and at church, all of the responsible adults have put in place practices and procedures intended to protect that child and say to perpetrator, We are watching and we refuse to allow you access to our children. Each initiative works toward a specific goal. Depending on the size of the county, the initiative will take from 3 to 5 years to reach the goal.

Does it really work?

Lumpkin County in North Georgia has a rich heritage. It was the first gold rush city in the country back in 1833. You have heard that phrase: “There’s gold in them thar hills.” That was said about Lumpkin County gold when miners started to head west in search of gold.

Now Lumpkin County has set the gold standard for a community that has taken on the issue of protecting children from sexual abuse. The Lumpkin County School System was the first in Georgia and only the second in the country to train 100% of its staff, including cafeteria workers and bus drivers.

In addition to the school system, every daycare organization employee in the county (with the exception of one organization) and every employee and volunteer for the Parks and Rec Department has gone through the Stewards of Children training. The entire Sheriff’s office, both patrol and administrative, has been trained. Hospital nurses have been trained and the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega now requires students in certain disciplines to receive the training as part of their course requirement. Staff from the DA’s office and Child Protective Services has been trained as well.

So in Lumpkin County, Georgia, from the time a child enters daycare to when they graduate from high school, they are almost always in the presence of an adult who has been trained in Stewards of Children. Lumpkin County is perhaps the safest place in Georgia to raise children!

And this very same strategy is in place in counties all over the state of Georgia and nationally.