On the Job and Off Announces “The C.A.R.E.S. Project” to Help Firefighters Recognize Child Abuse
November 10, 2020
On the Job and Off has launched a new nationwide initiative called “The C.A.R.E.S. Project” (Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting for the Emergency Services). This educational curriculum aims to train first responders to recognize signs of child abuse, neglect, and trafficking and to understand their role in the reporting process. This curriculum is available for free through On the Job and Off’s online training platform.
“In my recent experiences providing crisis counseling for child abuse investigations, I was shocked to learn that in many instances, even though the child had interacted with their local fire department and had visible signs of abuse and neglect, no child abuse reports were ever made,” said On the Job and Off CEO Ali Rothrock. “After some research, I learned only five states recognize firefighters as mandated reporters and therefore train them to recognize it. Licensed EMS workers are always mandated reporters, but many are unfamiliar with their role in the process. Taking this course does not make you a mandated reporter if your state doesn’t already identify you as one, but anyone can make a report as a permissive reporter. This course will cover all the bases.”
The C.A.R.E.S. Project is supported by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center; the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network; the National Volunteer Fire Council; and Women in Fire. To learn more about each organization visit www.onthejobandoff.com/CARES.
“All first responders are in a unique position to encounter abused children. Though always important, this issue is particularly relevant now. Due to the pandemic, abused and at-risk children are spending more time in their homes where the abuse occurs and aren’t interacting with usual mandated reporters like their teachers,” said Rothrock.
Founded in 2018, On the Job and Off, LLC provides mental health and anti-violence training for first responders in all 50 states and Canada, including first responders on military bases.