Biden Foundation Launches Child Protection Pilot Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Biden Foundation Launches Child Protection Pilot Program

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The Boys and Girls Club of Dover is just one club that is a part of B&G Clubs of Delaware. (Photo: WBOC) The Boys and Girls Club of Dover is just one club that is a part of B&G Clubs of Delaware. (Photo: WBOC)
The late Beau Biden is shown in this file photo. (Photo: AP) The late Beau Biden is shown in this file photo. (Photo: AP)

MILFORD, Del.- The Beau Biden Foundation is teaming up the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware to bring a pilot initiative to protect children to Delaware.

Also a part of the pilot program are the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.

The program will be used to support more background checks and provide training for children and adults at Boys and Girls Clubs across Delaware. The program includes sexual abuse training, child-focused online safety programming, background check for people working with children and child identification kits.

Todd Van Eyken,executive director of the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club, said "It's a natural tie, because we focus on making children safe. I like to tell my staff that for many of our kids, their time with us may be the only time during the day when they feel safe."

He says that is the reason they need to make the best of it. One of the initiatives is providing Netsmartz, a computer program that teaches kids as young as 3-years-old internet safety and anti-bullying.

The overall program also supports 15,000 child identification kits. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware will choose certain club events across the state that large numbers of families attend. Child identification kits will be created and information will be provided on the computer and peer mentoring programs.

"The [kits] provide an opportunity for our parents to invest in the safety of our kids for the long timer," said Van Eyken. "To make sure that if anything were to ever happen to one of their children that that would easily be able to be found."

The Beau Biden Foundation says one of the pillars of Joe Biden's time in the U.S. Senate was expanding resources for the Boys and Girls Club organization. Joshua Alcorn, the foundation's spokesman, says Beau Biden did a lot of student-driven work with the clubs, too.

Van Eyken points out that their commitment is to teaching children to live in an ever changing world.

"[As] adults, we can tell kids don't bully all day long," he said. "When kids tell each other and when kids intervene on behalf of each other, that's the power. That's when they take care of themselves."Not all clubs in Delaware will participate in the initiative.

Hilary LaMotte Burke, a spokeswoman for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, says those decisions have yet to be made. She says they will be chosen at a later date.

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