Front Porch Project: A Trainer’s View

February 21, 2012

By Raffy Luquis

The Front Porch Project creates more than just awareness – it provides information to raise your consciousness about child abuse and neglect and prepares you to intervene in a lot of different situations.  Because of my participation in the project, I have been able to be more responsive to children and have been more comfortable to act in a helpful way in these difficult situations. 

For example, a few weeks before I participated in the community training, I noticed that my neighbors were arguing  and yelling to each other in the middle of the street; their daughter and grandpa were there witnessing all of this.  I was concerned about her, as she should not see her parents arguing that way.  At the time, I did not know what to do, but I did not think it was appropriate for me to intervene.  I learned during the training that I could have intervened in that situation.  While I have never asked what happened after that day, I noticed that the father moved away; yet, he still comes in the morning and waits with his daughter for the school bus.  I have been more talkative to him to make sure they are doing okay.  They seem to be doing fine.       

Similarly, last year when I was at a local laundromat, I noticed a kid (probably 5-6 years old) who was playing with some action figures while his mother was doing laundry.  Noticing that the mother was distracted with her chores, I started a conversation with him about his toys – in a way, I was watching him to make sure he was okay.  I learned from the Front Porch Project that while I do not have to intervene every time, small gestures like talking to your neighbors or spending some time with a boy in the laundromat make a difference.  I am glad to have been trained to do this program, as I can see the value of it.  I hope that as more people participate in the program, more people become more comfortable in responding to the needs of children and in preventing child abuse and neglect.