Award acknowledges family support professionals who go above and beyond to support families and prevent child abuse
On January 16, the Children’s Trust announced that Malden resident Anthony Rizzuto has received its Faces of Prevention award, which honors and recognizes family support professionals across Massachusetts who go above and beyond to support families and prevent child abuse. The Children’s Trust is the state’s child abuse prevention agency.
“Tony’s expert knowledge of child sexual abuse prevention best practices and supporting policies, as well as his extensive experience working with local, state, and national agencies on this subject, has enabled the Children’s Trust to improve our work within the agency and beyond,” said the Children’s Trust’s Parent Content and Prevention Specialist, Delbar Mamedzade, who nominated Rizzuto for the award. “Tony is a major source of our quality improvement in our prevention work and he makes us better!”
Rizzuto has worked with the Children’s Trust for over 20 years on its child sexual abuse prevention work. Most recently, he has supported the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, which is co-chaired by the Children’s Trust and the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, offering his recommendations on best practices to prevent child sexual abuse. The Task Force, a public-private collaborative of 28 offices, agencies and child- and youth-serving organizations, released a report with guidelines to help child- and youth-serving organizations develop and implement prevention-focused policies and programs that keep children safe from sexual abuse. Rizzuto has also been instrumental in developing Safe Kids Thrive, a first-of-its-kind customizable website to help child- and youth-serving organizations prevent child sexual abuse before it happens, which resulted from the Task Force’s work. He is currently working on the Fourth Edition of the School Safety Protocol that will assist schools and all youth-serving organizations in Massachusetts in preventing, identifying and reporting incidents and suspicions of child sexual abuse.
“The Children’s Trust conducts its child abuse prevention work with such passion, excellence, inquisitiveness, and drive that what we do in Massachusetts has implications nationally and internationally,” said Rizzuto. “The work we are doing in Boston is having positive impacts on kids across the country and I am glad to be a part of it.”
Rizzuto previously served as the Archdiocese of Boston’s Director of the Office of Child Advocacy, which was established in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. In this capacity, he worked with the Children’s Trust, which sat on the Archdiocese’s Implementation and Oversight Advisory Committee for child sexual abuse prevention. Rizzuto later transitioned into a consulting role, advising child- and youth-serving organizations nationally and internationally on child abuse prevention strategies.
Rizzuto holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boston College, a Master’s in Child Psychology from Goddard College and a Doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Bowling Green State University.