Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Stewards of Children: Advocacy for Sexual Child Abuse Prevention

Donna P. Hill
Delta State University
Degree track: DNP
Degree awarded: December 2016
Capstone Chair: Dr. Addie Herrod
Capstone Committee Member: Dr. Ty Walton


Aims: In the United States 27% of adult females and 16% of adult males report sexual abuse occurred during childhood. In 2011 of the 6,712 children who were victims of abuse or neglect, in Mississippi, 12.8% were sexual abuse cases. Through training public school nurses can be major contributors in the prevention and/or identification of sexual child abuse. Erin's Law requires providing an age appropriate curriculum for students from prekindergarten to fifth grade. Erin's Law will be federally funded thru the passing of Senate Bill 1117 signed by President Obama in 2015. The state of Mississippi passed Erin's Law Awareness as a component of the Comprehensive Local School District Safety Plan in 2014.

Description: The purpose of this project was to implement Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program to public school nurses to bring increased knowledge of sexual child abuse prevention. The program teaches a five step approach to protecting our children with a practical training conversational approach raising awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults of the steps for prevention, recognizing and reacting responsibly. The Stewards 2.0 Knowledge Test was administered pre and post program. Thirty school nurses (n=30) attended the two-hour program. The prevention program helped prepare school nurses for the implementation of Erin's Law Awareness that came into effect in 2016. Statistical descriptive analysis show there is a small significant difference in the Stewards pre and post test scores overall. Data was analyzed comparing means using a paired-sample T Test indicating a 2 tailed significance range of .009-.030 on 4 of 20 questions representing an increase of knowledge. The question content that indicated an increase included: statistics of abuse by age 18, actions taken when adults “press the boundaries”, one-adult/one-child situations, and children recanting after disclosure.

Implications for nursing: The findings show statistical data indicates a need for continued research that could possibly include other disciplines, such as teachers and counselors.

Funding: The program used requires a workbook fee of $10 that was paid through advertisement in the workbook of businesses in exchange for sponsoring a chosen number of nurses.

Keywords: Stewards of children, Sexual Child Abuse Prevention, School Nurse Role in Sexual Abuse Prevention