Q & A with Territorial Safe From Harm Coordinator Major Joy Robbins
By: Brooke Turbyfill
Q & A with Major Joy Robbins
Recently, Southern Spirit staffer Brooke Turbyfill met with Major Joy Robbins to discuss the purpose behind Safe From Harm and how it’s strengthening and resourcing the field of volunteers, local officers, employees and officers within the USA Southern Territory.
BT: What is Safe From Harm?
JR: Safe From Harm is The Salvation Army’s child and vulnerable adult protection program for the USA Southern Territory.
BT: Who would need to take the SFH training?
JR: Anyone who works with children or vulnerable adults – officers, employees, volunteers and local officers.
BT: What does the training teach?
JR: How to recognize abuse and safely respond to incidents when they happen.
BT: When did SFH begin?
JR: It originated in the Central Territory, and in 2009 the South adapted it for our territory.
BT: What kinds of updates have been made recently to the SFH curriculum?
JR: The General has made it a priority to keep not just our children safe, but also our vulnerable adults: anyone over age 18 who has a mental or physical limitation that impairs his ability to care for and protect himself. So we’ve added the vulnerable adults piece.
BT: Can you give some examples of who might fall into the vulnerable adults category?
JR: Homeless, elderly, those in nursing homes, trafficking victims, shelter residents. If you work with these populations talk to your corps officer about training options.
BT: Why is the SFH training so key for The Salvation Army?
JR: Stewardship. It’s our stewardship of the Lord’s greatest gift to us – our young people and our vulnerable adults. These are groups that we really need to care for and keep safe because the world’s not looking out for them. The children and young people are the future that we have, and the vulnerable adults have a testimony to bring to all of us; it’s important for us to respect and encourage that.