The Cherish Center, a Noblesville-based nonprofit, was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Regional Council of Community Partners for Child Safety for the organization’s community-wide Socially Safe Kids Project. The Cherish Center has led this initiative to implement preventative programming throughout Hamilton, Hancock, Tipton and Madison counties for the past three years.
The Socially Safe Kids Project, which is currently offered in Westfield Washington Schools at no cost, is a community-wide prevention effort that deploys intervention teams to identify those at risk for peer victimization and provide support to decrease ongoing incidence.
“With the largest scope of our day-to-day work focusing on forensic interviewing, we see firsthand cases that could have been prevented if at risk children, youth and families were empowered with knowledge and preventative services,” said Deb Keaton, director of programming at the Cherish Center. “We’re here to protect children from future abuse, but we’re also here to eliminate it by working to foster social, healthy individuals.”
Keaton said as a result of programming like the Socially Safe Kids Project, communities are seeing a decrease in repeat incidents of peer-to-peer victimizations among at risk groups. This project is made possible by the Cherish Center’s partnership with the Center for Social Impact and the BecomeAnUpstander program.