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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keeping Hope Alive & Keeping Kids Safer

Child Quest International Provides Children with the Skills Needed to Escape Danger & Abductions

Jaycee Lee Dugard’s return to her family this week has cemented the importance of “Keeping Hope Alive” and never giving up in the search for a missing child. “You can’t give up hope because of situations exactly like this,” says Hilary Sessions, former Executive Director of Child Protection Education of America and mother of Tiffany Sessions, missing since February 9, 1989.

Child Quest International has been “Keeping Hope Alive” for many families since 1990.

“As a community, we can bring even more missing children home,” says Sessions. Not only can we bring them home, but we can make our children safer by giving them the skills and awareness needed to escape dangerous situations and potential abductors.

In addition to “Keeping Hope Alive” while working with searching families and law enforcement, Child Quest believes education is an essential element in keeping kids from going missing in the first place. Today’s headlines have often left parents and the community feeling fearful, lost, and hopeless. Recognizing that attempted abductions often happen when we least expect it, how can we protect our children when we can’t be with them every minute of the day?

Child Quest, a San Jose based nonprofit, has one answer: “Our Kids Are Safe Kids” prevention education. While stranger abductions account for less than one percent of the nations missing children annually, it is imperative that children be taught the interpersonal safety skills needed to keep themselves safer at all times. Child Quest’s abduction safety video, Milk Cartons: The Way Back Home, is an effective way of introducing this sensitive subject matter in a non-threatening manner while offering the frame work to prevent stranger abductions.

Child Quest’s “Our Kids Are Safe Kids” child safety curriculum is more than just “stranger danger.” It also teaches kids about Internet safety, bullying, physical abuse, and sexual assault. Through Child Quest’s training, children become empowered. Children learn to replace their fear, confusion, and panic of dangerous situations with confidence, personal safety skills, and self-assurance.

“Every child without safety education is a possible and ‘easy’ target for abduction or violence as we’ve all witnessed through the media,” says Child Quest Executive Director, Marcia Slacke. “We have to give children the necessary tools and information so they no longer will be that target.”

Child Quest currently teaches programs in Bay Area schools, youth groups, and community organizations. The goal of Child Quest’s “Our Kids Are Safe Kids” programs is to provide children with effective prevention education by enhancing their abilities, knowledge, skills, and power to protect themselves from violence and harm in any form.

Getting Involved

Child Quest has had great success with their prevention education programs, but there is always more to be done. If you would like more information or to request a program presentation for your school or community, please contact Anthony Gonzalez at (408) 287-4673 or by email:

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