The award is given to individuals that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect children
HARRISBURG, Pa.– PA Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state’s leader in child abuse prevention, today awarded Jessica Crouse of Chambersburg with the Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award, which is given annually to four individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support and protect Pennsylvania’s children.
Crouse is a Community Educator at the Over the Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center in Franklin County. She provides prevention education programs in the community and at local school districts. Crouse provides teachers and adults that work with children with the knowledge and necessary skills to implement policies and procedures to keep them safe.
“Thanks to Jessica’s diligent work that is grounded in abuse prevention, many children and families throughout Franklin County are protected,” PFSA President and CEO Angela Liddle said. “She has a heart for children and works every day to ensure that they, and the adults around them, receive the educational services needed to prevent and stop abuse. She is the embodiment of how community educators truly make a difference in the lives of others.”
Crouse provides training in schools and works with students to ensure they understand what types of behaviors are appropriate between them and adults. She also teaches them to identify safe adults with whom they can confide in should they ever find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. At one school where Crouse implemented an educational program, an exam proved that the students had a 45 percent increase in their knowledge about abuse behaviors and how to report it if they ever felt uncomfortable with any adults. Additionally, she navigated many difficulties during the pandemic and quickly pivoted to providing her training virtually. Over the Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center anticipates that she will facilitate the abuse prevention training program to more than 10,000 children in 2023.
In honor of this accomplishment, PFSA and Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Valerie Arkoosh recognized Crouse in front of a packed audience of lawmakers, media, child advocates, and students in the Capitol Rotunda.
A few pictures and short b-roll clips from today’s ceremony can be found by CLICKING HERE.
PFSA was joined by members of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee and the House Children and Youth Committee, among others.
The ceremony kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, PFSA hosts activities and events throughout the Commonwealth to increase awareness about the need for individuals to learn about the warning signs of abuse and neglect.
According to the department’s Child Protective Services 2021 Annual Report, there were 5,036 substantiated cases of child abuse, 58 substantiated fatalities, and 136 substantiated near fatalities.
About Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
Pa Family Support Alliance prevents child abuse and protects children from harm by helping parents learn positive parenting techniques, educating professionals and volunteers who work with children to recognize and report child abuse, and helping community members learn how they can play a positive role in keeping children safe. To learn more about our programs, schedule a training, or donate, please visit pafsa.org, or call 800-448-4906.