GFPS and 'Alliance for Youth' partner up for virtual child abuse prevention seminars

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - “No More Violence”, that's the message behind a week-long campaign to raise awareness for child abuse and neglect in the community.

This week Great Falls Public Schools is partnering with Alliance for Youth to host virtual events that are free and open to the public.

The virtual seminars will discuss different topics like trauma, child abuse, and family violence, but GFPS is encouraging the training, not just to students, but staff as well.

"At the end of the day, if we don't have the tools and our grounding resources to rejuvenate ourselves, we're not going to be the best we can be for those that we work with every day," Mental Health Coordinator Erin Butts said.

Whether you're an educator, child care provider, or a parent, day-to-day demands can often feel overwhelming, and sometimes lead to behavioral issues.

"Sometimes we see a lot of aggression in people's behaviors and in their actions, but also that inner aggression and that inner critic. So, if we're not careful about that it can activate negative behaviors from adults as well as children and adolescence," Butts said.

With all the overwhelming changes to this school year, Butts says more teachers are taking advantage of mental development opportunities within the district.

"They’ve provided district-directed or professional development opportunities to all the teachers here. So back to like that shared language and common understanding, looking at the signs and the impacts of trauma on learning and continuing to expand that over the years," Butts said.

Even though virtual training has been around for years Butts says it's important to engage this year more than ever.

"It’s really critical, and by offering it from the spectrum of childcare and early prevention into our more mature folks who might be living in residents who might need independent living. The more that we can train and work together the more we are having a shared language and you know developing that community shared vision of a more peaceful and less violent place to live," Butts said.

Virtual training will be hosted every day until Friday and all sessions will be recorded and shared after all events are complete.

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