Local residents Lindsay Pikovsky, Juliana Stauffer and Lisa Reiser recently hosted a program for twenty international au pairs at local organization Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA). Together with members of the local organization Welcoming the Stranger, the au pairs received a presentation on the signs and effects of child abuse. The au pairs then worked together to decorate and build positive thought boxes, which will be donated directly to child sexual assault victims through NOVA. “I think the kids will be very happy and feel worthy,” said Brazilian au pair Nathalia about creating the positive thought boxes. “I hope they feel remembered and valued.”
Together, the au pairs created approximately 100 boxes, filled with positive affirmations such as “I am strong,” “I am worthy,” and “this too will pass.” Hailing from around the world, the au pairs came to Bucks County to live with host families for up to two years as part of a cultural exchange experience, while providing their host families with up to 45 hours per week of childcare. Au pairs truly become a member of their host family and host community during their time together, learning about American culture while exposing their host families to their own culture and traditions.
Lindsay, Juliana and Lisa are all Local Childcare Consultants with Cultural Care Au Pair, providing support to local host families and au pairs during their time together, as well as empowering cultural exchange in the Bucks County area. “After the event, several au pairs told me privately that they were glad we addressed such an important topic, even though it’s difficult to think about,” said Local Childcare Consultant Lindsay Pikovsky. “NOVA’s
presentation was informative and touching. I’ve never seen the group work as hard as they did on the positive thought boxes.”
Penny Ettinger, Executive Director of NOVA, was thrilled to work with the diverse group. “NOVA is pleased to be working with Cultural Care Au Pair to educate au pairs hosted by families in the New Hope, Doylestown, Newtown, Richboro and Yardley areas on child sexual abuse prevention,” she said. “Au pairs have the responsibility of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children while they are in their care. By taking the Darkness to Light – Stewards of Children program as part of their ongoing training, the au pairs gained: critical knowledge of how to protect the children in their care from sexual abuse; the tools for knowing what to do if there is a suspicion of sexual abuse; as well as information about how to respond appropriately if a child discloses abuse to them. Families whose au pairs participated should be comforted knowing that their au pairs have had this remarkable training. NOVA commends Cultural Care Au Pair for its foresight.”
Materials for the positive thought boxes were funded through a grant from Cultural Care’s nonprofit Cultural Care Kids First Foundation ( http://www.culturalcarekidsfirst.org/).
About Cultural Care Au Pair
Cultural Care Au Pair is the largest au pair program in the country, with 30 years of experience empowering successful exchanges with American host families and au pairs from more than 26 different countries. The program has matched more than 125,000 au pairs with families around the country, providing them with flexible, reliable childcare and giving young people an opportunity to experience the U.S. It is carefully regulated by the U.S. Department of State, promotes international understanding and provides cultural exchange for everyone involved. For more information, please visit https://culturalcare.com/.
Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) supports, counsels and empowers victims of sexual assault and other serious crimes in Bucks County and works to prevent and eliminate violence in society through advocacy, training, community education and prevention programs. Founded in 1974, NOVA is a non-profit 501(c)(3), community-based organization operating out of three offices in Fairless Hills, Jamison and Perkasie. Services are made possible through the financial support of federal, state and local government grants and contracts, corporations, foundations and private donations. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. For more information, go to https://www.novabucks.org/.
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