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How To Keep Children Safe

— The Center for Alexandria’s Children in partnership with the Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, will mark National Child Abuse Prevention month by launching a three-prong approach to ensuring the safety of Alexandria’s children, providing families with SafeAssured Child Identification Kits; training for parents utilizing the nationally acclaimed Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children child abuse prevention program; and, developmental playgroups for children ages 0 – 5 throughout April.

City professionals will provide families with SafeAssured Child Identification kits from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on three Saturdays in April, including April 6 at Cora Kelley Recreation Center, April 13 at William Ramsey Recreation Center and on April 27 at Charles Houston Recreation Center. SafeAssured kits provide families with information needed by law enforcement and the media to immediately broadcast information unique to a missing child. Parents receive a completed, ready-to-use ID kit for their child, which contains a privacy-protected mini-CD that stores personal identification information essential to locating a missing child. Families also receive a photo data card and a Parents’ Guidebook with prevention tips, written in conjunction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. These events are open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.safeassured-id.com/.

The Center for Alexandria’s Children will also offer Darkness to Light’s (D2L) Stewards of Children, which trains parents and caregivers in the ways to better prevent, recognize and respond to child sexual abuse. The Center, located at 1900 N. Beauregard St., Suite 200 in Alexandria, will host two free training sessions from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19 and on Tuesday, April 30. The center will provide on-site childcare for trainees as well as pizza for the kids. Reservations are limited. To register, go to: http://cacstewardsofchildrentraining.eventbrite.com/

The center will expand its developmental playgroup program to include a playgroup a day through the month of April. Playgroups focus on the importance of learning through play and the key role parents play in their child’s development. Developmental playgroups aim to improve school-readiness by providing a social environment for children ages 0-5 with developmental appropriate activities. No pre-registration or enrollment is necessary. For a listing of playgroups scheduled for April, visit the Center’s website at www.centerforalexandriaschildren.org.