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The Stewards of Children Program
is Evidence-Based

In 2007, the Stewards of Children curriculum was empirically evaluated by the Center for Child and Family Studies, College of Social Work, at the University of South Carolina.

The Stewards of Children curriculum was found effective in increasing knowledge, improving attitudes and positively changing child-protective behaviors over the long-term.

Click here to access this evaluation report.

Summary of Darkness to Light Evaluation

Darkness to Light has conducted a series of studies on various aspects of its program. Click here for a summary of this work.

Stewards of Children Evaluation Methods

During the Stewards of Children pilot phase, nine pilot partners were recruited in the following contexts:
  • Faith centers
  • Schools
  • Community-based youth programs
  • Sports/recreational programs
These pilot partners represent diversity in the following areas:
  • Gender
  • Racial/ethnic
  • Socioeconomic
  • Geographic diversity
Pilot partners were asked to participate in pre-pilot assessments, as well as assessments immediately after completion of training and then again at a 2-month delay.

What is the impact of Stewards of Children on knowledge and attitudes?

This is a statistically significant (t (476) = 27.61, p <. 000) increase of 36% in knowledge and attitudes.

How has Stewards of Children affected participants' behaviors?

Two months after training, participants experience a less than 10% decrease in their knowledge gain and attitude change and show an increase in behaviors aimed at the prevention of sexual abuse. Specifically, they
  • Discuss issues of sexual abuse with children and adult
  • Pay attention to potential signs of sexual abuse
  • Drop in unexpectedly when children are being supervised by other adults

How did participants evaluate the Stewards of Children curriculum?

Participants evaluated the effectiveness of the Stewards of Children curriculum and the efficiency of the training format, using a scale of 1 to 5. Participants felt that the greatest impact of the Stewards of Children program was in the following areas.
  • Acquisition of new knowledge about child sexual abuse (avg = 4.31)
  • The ideas of choice, power, and consciousness as critical elements (avg = 4.44)
  • The potential to change attitudes about child sexual abuse (avg = 4.45)
  • Critical issues for organizations and individuals concerned about the protection of children (avg = 4.27)
  • Perspectives of survivor stories in the videotape (avg = 4.64)
  • Perspectives of professionals and parents in the videotape (avg = 4.45)

Stewards of Children Online

The clinical trial using an intervention and comparison group was completed by the Center for Child and Family Studies, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina.

Excerpts from the report:

"Evaluation findings show that the online training has an impact on organizations and their employees. Along with evidence of increased knowledge between the intervention and comparison groups, and significant attitudinal changes in those who participated in the training, the increase in the use of prevention behaviors by those in the intervention group is a promising finding regarding the effectiveness of this training."

"Behavior change followed attitude change. Participants limited their own one-on-one interaction with children and between older and younger youth. They discussed sexual abuse prevention with another adult."

"Those who participated in the training were significantly more likely to have discussed the issues of child sexual abuse with a child or teenager, looked for signs of abuse in children, limited their own one-on-one interaction with children, limited one-on-one interaction between older and younger youth, and discussed the issue of sexual abuse prevention with another adult."

"Organizations that provide this training to staff and volunteers will most likely see a change in the way their staff and volunteers think about child sexual abuse prevention and behave."

More Information

If you are interested in the Stewards of Children sexual prevention program for your organization email stewards@d2l.org or call (843) 965-5444 x25.

You may also fill out our information request form.

Email stewards@d2l.org,
call (843) 965-5444, or
click here.

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