Protect Our Girls:

Sunflower House and the Girl Scouts Take a Stand Against Child Abuse

by Judith Rodman
President & CEO

Sunflower House Partnership with Girl Scouts

For every report made of suspected child abuse or neglect, an estimated two to three incidents go unreported. Many children wait decades to report their abuse, with some never disclosing what happened to them. Nationally, one in seven children experienced abuse or neglect last year. One in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.

These are sobering statistics that can have devastating consequences for child victims throughout their lifetime. Unreported and untreated abuse and neglect can lead to lifelong physical and mental health issues. Early identification, reporting, intervention, and treatment are the keys to reducing the negative impact of child maltreatment.

A new and innovative partnership between Sunflower House and the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri will help protect children across Kansas City and beyond. 

The Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri are taking a stand against child abuse. They are committed to protecting children and teens by providing their administrative staff, employees, troop leaders, and volunteers with specialized training on identifying and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect. Through this year, the Council plans to educate an estimated 9,000 adults within the Girl Scout community. 

“When we share a common language and understanding of child abuse and neglect, we are better equipped to stop abuse and get children and families the help they need.” Said Judi Rodman, President and CEO of Sunflower House. “This collaboration will go far beyond protecting Girl Scout participants; the positive impact will be felt beyond our community as more adults gain the tools they need to protect children.”

Through the Sunflower House Online Academy, participants will attend the one-hour Child Abuse and Neglect: Mandated Reporter Training (MRT). When completed, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the behavioral and physical indicators of abuse, age-specific trauma indicators, reporting procedures, and mandated reporting laws in Kansas and Missouri. Through the Online Academy MRT, they will know how to handle a disclosure of abuse and how to make a report with confidence. Additionally, the MRT session includes information on local resources for children and families at risk, a trauma-informed response, and secondary trauma care.

The Sunflower House Online Learning Academy launched with a grant from KC CAN to provide teachers, child-serving professionals, and other adults with best-practice training on protecting children and supporting families in crisis. Since 2022, the Online Academy has provided training for thousands of local teachers, educators, and school personnel. This new partnership with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri will triple the number of adults trained, helping our community move the needle on child abuse prevention and awareness.

Monica Cattau, Education Program Director at Sunflower House, and proud Girl Scout mom, expressed her enthusiasm for this collaboration. She stated, “We are excited for this partnership with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri. We appreciate that the Council is taking this extra step to protect children in our community. We are honored to provide this important training for Girl Scout leaders and volunteers!”

Sunflower House provides education services to more than 40,000 children and adults annually, online and in person, in English and Spanish. To join the Girl Scouts and Sunflower House to take a stand against child abuse and neglect, click here to attend a training. For group presentations, please contact


About Judith Rodman

Judith (Judi) Rodman is the President and CEO of Sunflower House, the Child Advocacy Center serving Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Ms. Rodman has more than 25 years experience in community mental health, family services, therapeutic intervention with children and families, and nonprofit leadership. Ms. Rodman has extensive nonprofit experience in program development and evaluation, staff leadership, and managing state, federal, and private grants.  Read More.

Our Partners

National Children's Alliance Accredited Member

United Way Impact 100 logo