In Napa Valley, nearly 1,200 cases of child abuse are reported each year, and more than 70 percent of incidents involve kids under the age of 11. The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Napa County (CAPC) is mandated by the State of California to coordinate agencies that provide child abuse prevention and treatment services in our community.
Although CAPC is state-mandated, it is not a state entity. Instead, it is led by a Steering Committee comprised of 15 local nonprofit and government representatives; Cope Family Center, a nonprofit, provides program and administrative support for CAPC.
The collaborative runs child abuse prevention public awareness campaigns, and it also offers workshops on how to identify and report child abuse that are targeted to childcare providers and other professionals working with kids, including doctors, teachers and coaches.
One of CAPC's flagship offerings is the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP), which teaches 2,000 elementary-age kids how to be safe, as well as how to recognize dangerous contact. CAPP's trained staff and volunteers deliver the hour-long, kid-friendly curriculum in the classroom, while the school teacher is present; the session includes discussions, skits and role-playing exercises about dealing with strangers and bullying.
The goal: for young people to learn practical techniques to identify and avoid potentially harmful interactions, like how to differentiate between safe and unsafe touches, how/when to say "no," and who to tell if something happens.
CAPC partners say that this kind of prevention education, directed to kids, is most effective because children, their friends or a parent are most likely to report an incident of abuse. In fact, child abuse victims have divulged their previously unreported stories to CAPP trainers or classroom teachers.
Another benefit of CAPP: Teachers learn to be watchdogs for abuse and bullying, and what steps to take.
CAPP currently is offered on 10 campuses throughout the county; schools located in areas with the highest number of child abuse reports take priority.
CAPC's budget for CAPP is $40,000, and local birth certificate fee revenue, as well as voluntary donations that accompany property tax payments, cover the cost.
However, decreases in both funding sources have left a $5,000 gap in this year's budget for CAPP. Your support would help kids learn how to be safe from harm.
Child Abuse Prevention Council of Napa County
1340 Fourth Street
Napa, CA 94559
707.252.1123 x 118
Contact: Molly Arnott, Program Manager