Kristin Burt is the first premier’s wife to be trained in child sex abuse prevention by charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets.
Mrs Burt, who organised the training for parents and staff at her children’s preschool, said anyone who cares for children and wants to keep them safe should follow suit.
She added: “I would absolutely recommend this training to anyone who loves a child, whether a blood relative, godchild, or just someone they know from the community and wants to keep them safe from sexual abuse.”
Mrs Burt added: “The consequences of not asking the right questions are far too great for our children, families and community to bear.”
She explained that she heard about the programme more than a year ago and “felt that as a parent responsible for protecting my children, it was essential to take this training”.
Mrs Burt signed up parents and staff at her children’s preschool for the training after she learnt that Scars hosted sessions for small groups.
She said: “My children attend Tender Care Nursery and Preschool in Devonshire, which is a family environment.
“The children all greet each other with hugs when they arrive and leave the school and they all know each other’s parents.
“With our children already being such a tightknit group, I thought it would be great to bring the parents together to form a network of people who are prepared to prevent and detect child sexual abuse.”
Mrs Burt added parents and staff were better equipped to recognise and head off the danger of child sexual abuse after they completed the training.
Debi Ray-Rivers, Scars founder and executive director said Mrs Burt was “the epitome of a leader in the eyes of Scars”.
She added: “She takes child protection seriously and she made the choice to become more informed, educated, and empowered about the issue of child sexual abuse.
“On behalf of Scars, we wish to thank Mrs Burt and honour her for setting the example and leading from the front.”
The training was held at Camden, the official residence of the Premier, on April 28 and Ms Ray-Rivers thanked all eleven participants.
Keoki Dickinson-Graham, of Tender Care Nursery and Pre-school, said: “This training was an eye-opener to many.
Ms Dickinson-Graham said staff at the nursery took the training five years ago, but “continue to attend as a constant reminder of what to look out for”.
She added: “I cannot speak enough about the importance of being made aware of this abuse, especially when having, and working with young children.”
“Think of your child, family member or friend’s child.”
By Lisa Simpson The Royal Gazette