Project Safe and Smart Solicitation
The solicitation for Project Safe and Smart is now open. The solicitation period is from November 30, 2021 to 11:59 PM on February 11, 2022.
PLEASE NOTE: The due date for this announcement has been extended till February 11, 2022.
Click HERE for a copy of the SurveyMonkey questions.
We strongly encourage you to formulate your answers to the survey questions prior to starting the survey in SurveyMonkey. You will be able to work on your Survey Monkey application in multiple sessions, but you will need to utilize the same computer to access your survey.
Click HERE to access the SurveyMonkey preliminary request.
This request is only the first step in the approval process. If you are selected to move forward, you will be required to work with PCCD and Child Maltreatment Solutions Network (CMSN) at the Penn State University (PSU) on a formal PCCD Egrants application prior to the final award process.
PCCD, in collaboration with the CMSN at PSU, is announcing the availability of approximately $2.9 million in Endowment Act-Prevention funding to support 10 applicants that will implement a pilot prevention research project. Because the budget will be prescribed in collaboration with PCCD and CMSN, this initial request will allow PCCD and CMSN to determine the feasibility of each applicant to implement the prescribed pilot. As such, no budget detail is required. If your agency is selected to move forward, the main contact in the SurveyMonkey request will be notified in early February 2022 about the next steps in the application process.
Survey Monkey Questions: Project Safe and Smart
The prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) is complex and requires the effort of multiple sectors in a community. The Safe and Healthy Communities Initiative, a prevention pilot supported by PCCD from 2018 - 2021, introduced three evidence-based CSA prevention programs into five counties. Throughout the course of that pilot, we observed considerable interest in CSA prevention programming among schools and heard the urgent need for a universal prevention education program designed specifically for parents.
Learning from our prior work, and leveraging emerging empirical findings, this new project (Project Safe and Smart) will expand the implementation of two universal CSA prevention programs. Applicants will implement two programs within different segments of their community. The two programs (described in greater detail below) that will be implemented are:
(1) Safe Touches. This is a 50-minute puppet-based workshop that will be implemented among second grade students. The evidence-based curriculum teaches children about healthy boundaries, that it is okay to say “no”, and how to get help from safe adults.
(2) Smart Parents. This is an adaptation of the evidence-informed Smart Parents program that will be implemented among parents of children under 18. The program teaches parents about healthy sexual development, communicating with children about sexual boundaries, ensuring safety, and obtaining help and resources.
It is hypothesized that when implemented in a coordinated manner, these two prevention programs maximize the likelihood of identifying potential abuse, stopping harmful situations, and preventing future CSA in our communities.
Community-based organizations, school entities, counties, and local governments are eligible to apply for the project. The applicant must successfully demonstrate their reach and partnership with K-12 school entities, such as school districts, charter schools, nonpublic schools, etc. Strong initial requests will provide detailed letters of support from these school entities (see Letter Template
). Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate a wide reach (e.g., ≥2,000 second graders and/or ≥200 parents).
Applicants will be required to define the geographical location that will be included in the project. While PCCD and CMSN cannot help with how a geographical region is defined, the applicant can include multiple school entities and/or multiple counties (preferably continuous) to expand the reach of the project.
Applicants must be in good standing with PCCD in order to be eligible for these funds. The applicant and recipient agencies’ historical success in implementing PCCD-funded programs/initiatives that met their intended goals will be considered in the competitive review process. Applicants are not required to have a prior history with PCCD to be eligible. Factors such as geographic diversity will also be considered.
Description and Activities
Implementation of this project is different than a typical PCCD grant funded project. Specifically, this project is a collaborative agreement; thus, PCCD and the CMSN will work with successful applicants to provide technical assistance in implementing both components.
Applicants will be expected to implement two specific components:
(1) A school-based component, Safe Touches, delivered to second grade students within the classroom setting. The curriculum teaches children about healthy boundaries, that it is okay to say “no,” and how to get help from adults.
a. Safe Touches is an evidence-based, 50-minute puppet-based workshop delivered in the classroom by two trained facilitators.
ii. Empirical findings from the original Safe Touches trial (Pulido et al., 2015) demonstrated that Safe Touches significantly increased students CSA-related knowledge, and gains were greatest among second grade students. It is for this reason that implementation is limited to second grade students.
b. For this project, Safe Touches may be delivered in two modes:
i. An in-person workshop delivered in the classroom by two facilitators. It is strongly recommended that the teacher and/or counselor be present in the classroom during the workshop.
ii. Virtually via interactive video conferencing software (e.g., Zoom or Google Classroom) by one facilitator. The facilitator will be virtual and students can either be at home doing remote learning or in the classroom together. This delivery mode requires that the school counselor and teacher be present during the workshop.
c. The project will fund two Safe Touches facilitators and it is expected that the applicant will utilize both in-person and virtual delivery modalities.
d. Applicants will have two academic years to deliver Safe Touches to second grade students in their county. The academic years included in this project are 2022 – 2023 and 2023 – 2024. In the initial request, the applicant must describe how they plan to use both of the available delivery modes (e.g., combination of both modes, how they will decide what to use, etc.).
e. In the initial request, the applicant must demonstrate the capacity and a plan to reach a minimum of 2,000 students over the two academic years.
i. If an applicant cannot reach 2,000 second graders during the project period (e.g., because there are not 2,000 second graders in the geographic area), may still be eligible for this funding if they are able to demonstrate that they will successfully reach 100% of all available second graders over the 2-year period (e.g., letters of support from all school entities in their defined geographic area).
1. It will be important that the applicant demonstrates census numbers of second grade students in their defined geographic area.
Strong initial requests will include a letter of support
from school entities. Applicants are encouraged to reach as many students as possible – exceeding 2,000 students when possible.
(2) A parent-focused component, Smart Parents, which is designed to improve parents’ CSA-related knowledge and use of protective behaviors.
a. Smart Parents is adapted from the Smart Parents – Safe and Healthy Kids evidence informed curriculum (Guastaferro et al., 2019; 2020; 2021). The development and piloting of the universal Smart Parents program is underway.
i. The universal program is designed a standalone, 60- to 90-minute program that teaches parents about healthy sexual development, communicating with children about sexual boundaries, ensuring safety, and obtaining help and resources.
ii. Note, we use the term ‘parent’ to broadly define any adult in a caregiving role for a child under 18. This could include biological parents, step-parents, grandparents, custodial guardians, foster parents, etc.
iii. It is anticipated that Smart Parents will be delivered in group settings, but Penn State is currently piloting different delivery options.
b. Smart Parents will be available for delivery in two modes:
i. As an in-person workshop
ii. As a virtual workshop using interactive video conferencing (IVC) software (e.g., Zoom or Google Classroom).
c. The number of facilitators will be dependent upon group size (1 facilitator for groups under 10 participants; 2 facilitators for groups 10-25 participants).
d. Successful applicants will describe a plan to implement the parent-focused component alongside the school-based program (i.e., offered to parents of children participating in the Safe Touches workshop) as well as a plan to deliver it to the greater parenting community (i.e., any parent of a child under 18). An applicant must discuss how they will plan to reach at least 200 parents during the second year of the project.
e. The applicant will be expected to describe their plan to disseminate the program. A successful applicant will offer multiple trainings each month. For example, an applicant may describe a multi-tiered recruitment strategy and a plan for scheduling at least one program for parents at the schools participating in Safe Touches and one community-based program hosted for general parents at a community-space (e.g., library).
Pulido ML, Dauber S, Tully BA, Hamilton P, Smith MJ, Freeman K. Knowledge gains following a child sexual abuse prevention program among urban students: A cluster-randomized evaluation. Am J Public Health. 2015;105(7):1344-1350. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302594
Guastaferro K, Zadzora KM, Reader JM, Shanley J, Noll JG. A Parent-focused child sexual abuse prevention program: Development, acceptability, and feasibility. J Child Fam Stud. 2019;28(7):1862-1877. doi:10.1007/s10826-019-01410-y
Guastaferro K, Felt JM, Font SA, et al. Parent-focused sexual abuse prevention: Results from a cluster randomized trial. Child Maltreat. 2020:1-12.
Guastaferro K, Font SA, Miyamoto S, et al. Provider attitudes and self-efficacy delivering a child sexual abuse prevention module: An exploratory study. Heal Educ Behav. 2021:1-9.
Research and Evaluation
This project is a cooperative agreement between the applicant, PCCD, and CMSN at PSU. CMSN has been named an official research partner by PA’s Department of Human Services in accordance with the Child Protective Service Law (23 Pa.C.S. §6342). Further, CMSN has adopted and will adhere to the highest regulatory standards for data security, data sharing, confidentiality, and human subjects’ protections.
To ensure the success of the overall prevention strategy, CMSN will appoint the PSU Research Team (PSU-RT) led by Drs. Jennie G. Noll and Kate Guastaferro. The PSU-RT will facilitate the research on the overall implementation strategy. The applicant will be expected to work with Penn State on evaluation of implementation of Safe Touches as well as the research on the effectiveness of the parent-focused component.
Specifically, related to Safe Touches:
(1) Applicants will conduct a program evaluation survey with students after the Safe Touches workshops. This brief survey (made available at training), will indicate the level of CSA-related knowledge post workshop. The applicant will enter data into a provided portal and the PSU-RT will provide aggregated, de-identified reports for each applicant.
a. The applicant could use the program evaluation surveys to provide information back to school-entities in aggregate. These data may also be beneficial for demonstrating success for future funding opportunities.
(2) The applicant must also agree to working with PSU-RT to understand implementation factors related to Safe Touches. This will involve recording costs in detail (time sheets to be provided) to facilitate a cost-analysis and connecting the PSU-RT with school entities for brief surveys related to adoption and implementation of Safe Touches.
Specific to Smart Parents:
(1) Providers will be invited to participate in research related to their training in and delivery of the Smart Parents program. Participation is voluntary, but we hope that applicants will be invested in the research process for this new program.
(2) Providers will notify participating parents of the opportunity to participate in research facilitated by PSU-RT. This will mean providing a description of research and connecting potential parent participants with the research team. (The applicant / providers will not be responsible for consenting participants or administering research surveys.)
(3) Providers will also be expected to provide data to PSU-RT related to implementation such as detailed time sheets for cost analysis and number of classrooms/students reached.
PCCD and CMSN will work with each recommended applicant to craft the project budget due to the unique nature of the pilot research prevention project and the need to tailor budgets based on implementation size. The following includes a few examples of what could be included in a budget for an applicant.
**Example Budget based on an applicant serving at least 2,000 second-grade students and 200 parents during the project. The amounts below are estimated for year one and do not reflect all potential expenses.
Personnel: 2 full-time staff x $50,000/year + 30% fringe benefits
Safe Touches Training, Monitoring, and Supplies: $7,298/year
Smart Parents: $1,200/year
Indirect costs: 5% of total budget
Additional Project Documents
|Initial Request Opens||November 29,2021|
|Webinar||December 9, 2021 |
|Initial Request Due||February 11, 2022 *NEW DUE DATE|
|Applicants notified to move to second part||Early February 2022|
|If recommended, Egrants application due ||Late April 2022|
|Applicants notified of approval||May 2022|
|Project Begins||July 1, 2022|
|Project End Date||June 30, 2024|