Since its founding in 1977, Serento Gardens in Hazleton has helped thousands overcome their chemical dependencies by providing support and the opportunity to regain control of their lives. In The Luzerne Foundation’s Fall Grant Cycle, Serento Gardens was selected to receive a grant for a new program – Stewards of Children, a child sexual abuse prevention program developed by the internationally known “Darkness to Light” organization.
Much of the treatment provided at Serento Gardens is for the symptoms resulting from childhood trauma caused by sexual abuse at a young age. The program educates adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse which is related to significant problems with academic performance, friendships, family relationships, physical health, and a range of mental health difficulties including both emotional and behavioral problems.
The grant will fund a region-wide campaign to enhance awareness of child sexual abuse and provide the research based tools that put sexual abuse prevention into the hands of adults, the only place a lasting difference can truly be made.
“I am happy to report,” said Edward Pane, LSW, MBA, CAADC Diplomate and President and CEO of Serento Gardens, “that our trainers are in place and we have five upcoming sessions scheduled throughout Luzerne County in Berwick, Hazleton, Nanticoke and two in Wilkes-Barre.” The final event on May 2nd, will be held at Kings College and includes a special guest speaker – Angela Shelton.
Angela Shelton is a writer, movie maker, blogger (http://angelashelton.com/finding-angela-shelton-2) and a survivor of abuse. In her uplifting and multiple award-winning documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, she drives around the United States surveying other Angela Sheltons. She discovers that 70% of the Angela Sheltons she speaks to are survivors of rape, childhood sexual abuse and/or domestic violence.
On her journey the filmmaker meets an Angela Shelton who tracks sexual predators and lives in the same town as the filmmaker’s father, who sexually abused her and her siblings for years. Angela Shelton’s survey of women becomes a journey of self-discovery during which she decides to finally confront her own past and her abusive father – on Father’s Day. (http://www.searchingforangelashelton.com )
The sessions are free and open to the public. “We hope people will come to learn,” notes Ed. “Or to heal.”