SSAIC’s child sexual abuse prevention program for Grade 4 students
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our 2020 “I’m the Boss of Me” sponsors:
- Greater Saskatoon Catholic School
- Saskatoon Public Schools
- Raymond James Ltd.
- Community Initiatives Fund
- SIGA & Dakota Dunes
- The Kinsmen Club
“I’m the Boss of Me” – Saskatoon’s child sexual abuse prevention program
“I’m the Boss of Me” tells the story of four friends, two of whom have experienced sexual abuse. One child discovers through her friend that sexual abuse is not her fault, that it should never be kept a secret, and that there are people who will believe her and provide help and support. This puppet show is a story of friendship and courage; it teaches children what sexual abuse is (along with physical, emotional and cyber abuse), why it abuse is wrong, that abuse is never their fault, not to keep it a secret, and how to get help if they need it.
This program is booked by teachers into grade 4 classrooms in Saskatoon from January to March each year. Teachers will receive a series of associated lesson plans and activities, and SSAIC trains volunteer facilitators to present a gentle puppet show (Lesson 3 of the program). The program is endorsed by both the Public and Catholic school divisions.
The show is approximately 20 minutes in length, followed by a small circle discussion with facilitators and children; each presentation requires approximately 50 minutes in each classroom. Each puppet show requires a team of 3-4 facilitators.
Why volunteer as a facilitator for “I’m the Boss of Me”?
This project is an excellent opportunity to gain skills and knowledge regarding child abuse prevention and how to respond appropriately to children who have been abused.
- Facilitators will have the opportunity to participate in a “hands-on” project with children
- Facilitators will gain small group facilitation skills
- Facilitators will have the opportunity to present a serious and difficult topic in a gentle, fun and effective way to young children
- Facilitators will become more comfortable with the issue of child sexual abuse so they are prepared to address it in their careers (ideal for teachers)
- Facilitators will have opportunity to become more familiar with Saskatoon schools and teachers (which could lead to career opportunities in their future)
- Facilitators will have opportunity to work on this interdisciplinary project with students from Education, Nursing, Social Work, and other university and college programs
- Facilitators have the flexibility to “act” in as few or as many shows as they are available for
- Facilitators will get as much out of this project as the children do!
- Facilitators will receive a letter of recommendation acknowledging participation in this project
- Commit to participating during January and April (we attempt to complete the program before spring university exams)
- Commit to a full day of training in January (Saturday or Sunday)
- Commit to attend at least one rehearsal (or more until comfortable to facilitate)
- Be prepared to respond to frequent emails / promptly confirm availability for shows
- Arrive at designated school on time
- Perform puppet show and debrief with small group of students
- Have fun with the children; and
- If a disclosure of abuse occurs, be prepared to bring the information forward to the narrator, and document as directed (you will receive training on this)
- Enthusiasm is mandatory! No experience is necessary
- Ideally (but not strictly) from the College of Education, Nursing, Social Work, or another human service field OR community-minded volunteers with time to dedicate to this important issue
- 18 years of age or older
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- Responsibility, punctuality, maturity, and ability to have fun with children
- Physical ability to crawl, kneel, sit on the floor of classrooms
- Genuine desire to build skills working with children, and
- Would be comfortable fielding a disclosure of abuse from a child (you will receive appropriate training for this, don’t worry!)
The Volunteer Application Process:
We recruit and train volunteer facilitators between October and December each year. Interested applicants must complete the following steps in order to become a facilitator:
- Contact the Program Coordinator at ITBOMCoordinator@ssaic.ca identifying your interest in becoming a facilitator. Application forms will be emailed to you.
- Once the application has been completed, successful applicants will be contacted.
- You will be given an option of training dates; you must be available to complete a minimum of one training date to become a facilitator.
- Once training is finished the Program Coordinator will assess if you are a good fit for this program. Not everyone who completes the training becomes a facilitator; some people self-select out of the program after they have finished the training, and sometimes SSAIC staff determine that a volunteer is not the right fit for the program.
If accepted into the program, applicants must also pass a vulnerable sector criminal record check. The record check can be obtained at no cost to you as a volunteer; we will provide you with the appropriate form to submit to your local police service or RCMP. An honorarium will be provided to each facilitator upon completion of the program.