The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) has designated and listed Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe prevention education curriculum as having “promising research evidence.” This designation for the school-based child abuse prevention program comes at a time when many children are returning to the classroom for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
Educators, who are some of the likeliest professionals to report child abuse, may be coming into contact with youth who have faced abuse in isolation throughout the pandemic. Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe encourages kids to speak up while providing educators insight into how to handle disclosures. Being designated as an evidence-based program, which is required or preferred by some states, allows Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe to reach even more children with safety information related to child abuse, neglect and bullying.
Childhelp has partnered with the Arizona State University Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (ASU-SIRC) to create today’s Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe program, with its in-depth facilitator training and engaging student curriculum. ASU-SIRC researchers have published numerous articles about the efficacy of the program in the classroom, which were submitted to CEBC as part of its review. Childhelp also receives feedback from facilitators and students, with one Iowa first grader recently saying, “I love this program! I feel safe and happy.”
The Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe curriculum has been improved and expanded over decades to include various abuse types and age-appropriate lessons for grade pre-kindergarten through 12. Its current version has been rigorously tested for effectiveness since 2016. It is the longest-standing and only comprehensive child abuse prevention program, which covers various types of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, bullying, and cyberabuse. The program is available in English and in Spanish.
In July, Childhelp announced an update of the program with improved facilitator training and more interactive delivery. The program continues to provide 30- to 45-minute fully scripted lessons per grade level, delivered by educators who have completed the facilitator training. Lessons are reinforced with handouts, take home items, and activities. The ecological approach includes materials and resources for students, teachers, facilitators, parents, administrators, and community members, which aim to help build a safety network to protect children from abuse and neglect. The program also partners with the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD), available 24/7/365 and staffed by professional counselors, to provide a confidential place to ask questions or get information on reporting abuse.
As the world opens up and children return to school, Childhelp is ready with tools and resources so that each child learns that abuse is never his or her fault. Administrators, educators, and families have an evidenced-based ally in Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe.