Al Thompson
Former Vice President Joe Biden – on stage with Doylestown Health officials – talks about the various programs offered by the Beau Biden Foundation of the Protection of Children. Photo courtesy of the Beau Biden Foundation.

WARMINSTER: On the afternoon of October 9, when former Vice President Joe Biden walked out on stage to talk to the small but full auditorium on the grounds of the Ann’s Choice retirement community in Warminster, there was no political rhetoric, or talk on his political future, no press conference.

Biden was in Bucks County to speak about matters that were deeply personal to him.

He spoke about his wife, Jill Biden, who grew up in Willow Grove, who has a doctorate in English, taught English and reading in high schools for 13 years, plus adolescents with emotional disabilities. Since 2009, she has been a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College and is involved in numerous health and educational programs.

Biden drew some laughs when he said his marriage of nearly 40 years lasted this long because, “I love her more than she loves me.”

But you could here a pin drop when the former second-in-command spoke about his late son Beau, who died May 30, 2015 at age 46 from brain cancer.

The elder Biden beamed with pride talking about how Beau brought to light the country’s “Dirty little secret” about child abuse – both sexual and violent.

Beau Biden was the Attorney General of Delaware from January 2, 2007 to January 6, 2015.

In 2010, as he and the Delaware Department of Justice prosecuted one of the worst pedophiles in the history of the United States, Beau brought “Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children” program to Delaware.

Stewards of Children is a two-hour online or facilitator-led training which teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibility to child sexual abuse.

“Steward’s of Children” is the centerpiece of the “Beau Biden Foundation of the Protection of Children” which was founded in June 2015.

To date, 19,000 adults in Delaware have been trained to be Stewards of Children, including 2,000 since the Foundation’s programming began in April 2016.

Joe Biden made an appearance at Ann’s Choice retirement community to announce the foundation’s partnership with Doylestown Health to train the Bucks County health system’s medical staff on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Joshua Alcorn, the foundation’s Chief Engagement Officer talked about the partnership and the Biden family’s connection to the area.

“This is a community that’s very close the Biden family,” said Alcorn, who said the foundation has a staff of four people. “Dr. Biden grew up right down the road, and we have a number of great friends here who grew up in Delaware who know Beau and see the work that he did in Delaware continues and expands up here. This partnership is with Doylestown Health and will train their doctors and support staff in ‘Stewards of Children’ which is a two-hour facilitator program that helps adults recognize the symptoms and signs of child sexual abuse, ways to minimize opportunities for predators and ways to react responsibly if a child divulges they’ve been abused.”

The Foundation also offers programs that instruct schools, day care centers and parents on how to better protect children from harm via the internet, including good digital citizenship, online safety, and the dangers of cyber bullying.

According to the foundation’s website, starting in September 2017, the Foundation launched its newest program, the “Shield of Protection Initiative.” The Shield of Protection Initiative takes a holistic look at youth-serving organizations by thoroughly evaluating their child protection policies, procedures and programs, and offering concrete action plans that will enable them to better protect the kids in their care.

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