Published February 2023 | RESEARCH and PUBLICATIONS
Mobilizing Oregon Communities to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
A Seven-Year Impact Report
Beginning in 2015, The Ford Family Foundation invested in the movement to end child sexual abuse through Protect Our Children. Protect Our Children is a community-based training program aimed at increasing knowledge about child sexual abuse and promoting pro-prevention attitudes and prevention behaviors. A statewide coordinator overseeing program implementation, 17 partner sites and a coordinated learning community have championed this effort in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. A developmental evaluation approach allowed the team to learn and adapt to needs identified by the collaborative of statewide partners. Protect Our Children is now at a pivotal point in its evolution as it grows into a standalone program.
This report details the overall impact of Protect Our Children’s first seven years as a program of The Ford Family Foundation. In addition
to measuring individual level impact, this evaluation documents systems-level changes in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County’s movement to end child sexual abuse.
The landmark report overwhelmingly found that compared with randomly-selected Oregonians, participants in the program were:
- Five times more likely to report they know what to do to contribute to child abuse prevention in their community
- Four times more likely to ask about sexual abuse prevention policies
- Three times more likely to believe their community has a plan to reduce child sexual abuse
- Nearly three times more likely to look for signs of sexual abuse in children
- Important capacity and community-level changes were also reported among
- Protect Our Children partner sites — including greater community awareness of their prevention efforts, growing cross-agency partnerships, and new conversations and norms critical for action-taking and sustained change to prevent child sexual abuse.