It is never too early for children to learn how to keep themselves safe and there are programmes and resources that can help young ones to do this in an age-appropriate, accessible way.
HELP provides its preschool prevention programme, We Can Keep Safe, in preschools around Auckland to more than 600 children a year, helping children to develop personal safety skills that include:
- developing a concept of body ownership
- persistence in telling
- distinguishing secrets and surprises
- differentiating good feelings from not good feelings
The curriculum was developed following extensive consultation with experts in the field of child sexual abuse and is taught in a logical, lively, age-appropriate manner, which encourages consistent messages in the home and classroom. Positive benefits of the programme are wide ranging, including the fact that children often discuss their feelings more with their parents and are bullied less.
We Can Keep Safe teaches children:
- how to name body parts
- assertion about the ownership of their bodies
- touching rules
- identifying feelings
- how to tell someone to get something to stop happening
HELP encourages parents and caregivers to attend the sessions with their children and work through the homework manual with them afterwards to reinforce learning. It often gives a starting point and a vocabulary for open communication between parents and their children.
We get wonderful feedback from parents and schools who have taken part in the programme, indicating that We Can Keep Safe is well received and reinforcing that it’s considered an essential part of children’s education.
“We have had many great discussions about personal safety at home. It has been so beneficial for (name of child) to hear the same messages from an expert as well as from us.” – a satisfied parent
“We really feel (name of child) has gained great skills from your programme which, with reinforcement, will help him to “Keep Safe” throughout his life.” – a satisfied parent
For more information on the programme, view the WCKS Programme Evaluation
Educating young children can be challenging and it is common for parents to feel unequipped to teach their children important safety skills in an age-appropriate manner. Nevertheless, due to their age, developmental level and trusting natures, young children are dependent on adults to keep them safe.
HELP provides this service as a contribution to reducing the number of survivors we will provide our crisis and therapeutic services to in the future. We Can Keep Safe receives no government funding but our commitment to prevention remains strong. We believe that we are filling an important gap, as no other community groups offer this kind of education in the Auckland area.
To find out more about the programme, or to book it for your child’s preschool, contact us.
Read Point Research’s recent We Can Keep Safe Evaluation
We need you! Help make our community safer by becoming a sponsor of We Can Keep Safe.