Our Growing National Training Team - Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey the First My Life My Choice Training Hub
My Life My Choice serves as a model for communities across the country set on changing not only lives, but the structural inequities that give rise to trafficking and sexual exploitation. Our survivor-led and evidence informed prevention programming is highly replicable and we rely on strategic partners across the country to take the lead in their communities. One such partner and ally is Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey (PCANJ).
Aligned with My Life My Choice’s goal to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), the mission of PCANJ is to prevent child abuse and neglect in all forms for the children of New Jersey. They do this by promoting positive parenting and healthy child development.
My Life My Choice’s relationship with PCANJ began in November of 2013, when PCANJ received funding from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) for a statewide roll out of the My Life My Choice Prevention Curriculum to be used with youth in the care of DCF. Committed to the survivor-led model, ally and survivor staff from PCANJ were trained to lead My Life My Choice Prevention Curriculum trainings across the state. Since that time, they have trained over 200 Certified Facilitators in the Prevention Curriculum from 36 different DCF provider agencies in New Jersey, reaching 1,067 adolescent girls.
PCANJ continues to provide trainings for DCF, but has also expanded their partnership with My Life My Choice to include hosting Prevention Curriculum trainings to non-DCF providers and training as part of the My Life My Choice national training team across the country. Most recently, they represented My Life My Choice at trainings in Kentucky, Texas, and California. PCANJ has also trained over 1,000 child service providers in their own CSEC trainings.
Patty Mojta, Director of Adolescent Programs at PCANJ says, “We are so grateful to have this partnership with My Life My Choice. The amazing staff and leadership have been so helpful to the growth of our prevention program in New Jersey. We value their expertise, integrity, and passion. My Life My Choice is a national leader in the prevention of sex trafficking, and we are happy to join them in this important work.”
At My Life My Choice we are grateful to PCANJ for their incredible commitment, work and collaboration. As partners in this work, we are able to share resources and learn from each other’s expertise on a regular basis. We are excited to see how this partnership will continue to grow and move the needle in the fight to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
As learned from numerous earlier public health prevention efforts, building awareness is not enough. Effective prevention encompasses changes in attitudes, knowledge, and skills--all within the context of one’s life and circumstances. This strategic partnership greatly expands the impact and reach of the My Life My Choice Prevention Curriculum which was the first comprehensive CSEC prevention curriculum in the country and designed specifically for youth at disproportionate risk of exploitation. We know that the more service providers who are well-trained in identifying risk factors and preventing CSEC, the better equipped the youth in their care will be. We are looking to identify 2-3 more Training Hubs across the country over the next three years to increase access to My Life My Choice trainings for providers and ultimately expand access to My Life My Choice Prevention Groups for adolescents.
Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey’s next training on the My Life My Choice Prevention Curriculum is on August 13th and 14th, 2019 in New Brunswick, NJ. If you or a colleague are interested, please apply here.