We are delighted to report that on 12 February 2010 the Queensland Police Service (QPS) endorsed the Safe Start: Protective Behaviours for Children and Young People (Safe Start) program as its primary children’s safety program. The Safe Start program was developed by Children’s Safety Australia Inc. (CSA) Director, Kim Jackson in 2008. It was developed to address the limitations and build upon the strengths of the almost 40 year old American Protective Behaviours program, which was previously used by the QPS.
Safe Start expands upon the traditional Protective Behaviours content, embraces additional key safety messages and enhances delivery methods to reflect current best practice guidelines in child protection. The program has been independently reviewed and found to be effective in providing prevention education to reduce the risk of victimisation for children and adolescents.
Four safety messages underpin the Safe Start program:
1. I am special, so are you: to build a healthy self
esteem and encourage respect and empathy for
2. Safety is my right: to identify and effectively respond to
potentially unsafe situations and environments, including
3. My body belongs to me: to identify, prevent and stop
all forms of abuse.
4. I can get help: to access help from trusted adults and
CSA promotes the four messages of the program through a range of resources including posters, stickers, lesson plans and worksheets. For further information refer to the Resource Order Form or contact us.
The QPS will soon be rolling out the program to key personnel who will promote the key messages of Safe Start to children, young people, teachers, parents and carers. For further information contact the QPS Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch on tel: 3234 2111.
The Children’s Safety Kit Project undertaken by Children’s Safety Australia Inc. (CSA) in 2009, has recently been finalised following the extension of the feedback deadline until the end of Term 1, 2010. The project achieved its aim to raise the awareness of four key children’s safety messages in Queensland government and private primary schools through the development and distribution of 1500 Children’s Safety Kits. The kits were distributed to 1500 primary school classes in addition to a number of special school and secondary school classes. The project was funded solely by the Queensland Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF).
Media releases distributed at key stages of the project resulted in considerable media attention, including a national television interview on Sunrise during Child Protection Week, evening news bulletins, radio interviews and local newspaper articles. Subsequently, it is conservatively estimated over half a million Australians were exposed to the four key children’s safety messages of the Safe Start program, forming the foundation of the Children’s Safety Kit. This represents a significant additional benefit of the project.
Formal feedback received from teachers, principals and other school staff who received the kits attests to the high usage rate and quality of the kits and their effectiveness in raising the awareness of the key safety messages:
The vast majority of respondents:
- delivered each of the four children’s safety lessons to students (79%).
- displayed the posters (97%), distributed the stickers (92%) and distributed the postcards to parents/carers (81%).
- rated the resources ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very good’ in terms of raising the awareness of children’s safety messages: Instruction guide and lesson plans (88%); Posters (82%); Stickers (79%); Postcards (79%); Worksheets (88%).
The lessons were delivered to a relatively even distribution of Prep through to Year 7 students. Several teachers also delivered the material to secondary students undertaking ‘Life Skills’ and ‘Early Childhood Studies’.
Approximately 4% of respondents indicated disclosures of abuse were received. Of these, the majority were reported in accordance with school policy or to the Queensland Police or Child Safety Services, Department of Communities.
General comments provided by many respondents indicated their high level of satisfaction with the kit, the perceived benefits to students and their intention to reuse the resources for future classes.
A number of requests from secondary teachers have resulted in a further GCBF funding application to produce and distribute a similar kit for secondary school students. While the application was not successful in the first funding round, we are hopeful for a more positive result next time.
CSA would like to sincerely thank all teachers, principals and other school staff who supported this project by requesting and using the kits and by providing valuable feedback. Without your efforts this project would not have been successful.
Please contact us for further information regarding this project.
Children's Safety Australia Inc. (CSA) is raising funds by selling the 2010/2011 Entertainment™ Book. Entertainment Books contain hundreds of 25-50% off and two-for-one offers for popular restaurants, cinemas, hotel accommodation, the arts, and sporting events.
The 2010/11 Entertainment™ Book is bigger and better than ever with over $15,000 worth of value. You only need to use it once or twice and it's paid for itself. Entertainment Books make the ideal Mother's Day gift that lasts the whole year through.
The Brisbane Entertainment Book sells for $65 and the Gold Cost book for $55 (plus $8 postage and handling). Books are also available for other Australian and international cities/regions.
To order an Entertainment Book to support CSA, complete the order form and forward it to us via:
- email (firstname.lastname@example.org);or
- post (PO Box 202, Corinda Qld 4075).
Please contact us for further information.
When does caring become controlling?
When does affection become obsession?
When does talking become stalking?
An innovative website designed for teens and young adults is raising the awareness of digital dating abuse and attempting to stop it before it gets worse. Thatsnotcool.com addresses a range of modern relationship problems between teens, such as constant and controlling texting, pressuring for nude pictures (sexting), and breaking into someone's e-mail or social networking page.
The site provides common sense strategies for users who may be being abused or abusive and includes a range of teen-friendly activities, such as:
- Interactive ‘2 Sided Stories’ with short and engaging video clips asking users to solve a range of teen relationship dilemmas;
- 'Call out cards' complete with straight forward messages to abusers (see three examples below); and
- Video clips posted by young people relaying their own experiences or strategies via drama and music.
This site is highly recommended for teens, young adults, parents/carers, teachers and others working with young people. For further information visit: www.thatsnotcool.com.
The following article has been adapted from the Generation Next enewsletter/blog edited by Dr Ramesh Manocha.
The 2010 National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) Conference held in Melbourne on 9 - 10 April gave schools evidence-based information and strategies about cybersafety, how to use the new technologies to enhance learning, and ways to improve student wellbeing. As stated by Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard MP in her opening address to the conference, bullying affects us all in some way, with around 1-in-4 students regularly facing overt and covert forms of bullying, including 1-in-10 who are victims of cyberbullying.
As a result of the conference, NCAB is calling for 10 key actions to address the need for a national commitment to increase cybersafety and to reduce bullying across the community. While a number of these actions may appear to require a government-led response, many can be actioned by schools committed to tackling bullying and improving student wellbeing. The actions are outlined as follows:
1. Early Intervention
There is a need to identify early (at pre-school and early primary school), those who may have peer relationship issues and implement appropriate programs. Additional focus is needed on pre-school education to prevent bullying and promote well being. There is a need to raise awareness among schools and parents of the emerging evidence that children are using social networking sites at young ages.
2. Training Teachers
There is a need for pre-service teacher education programs to include a mandatory component which addresses awareness and skills for preventing and managing bullying situations. Teachers need to know how to respond effectively to bullying situations. There is a need for general education programs for teachers, students and parents as to the possible effects of the criminal and civil law on the use of communications technology for bullying purposes.
3. An appropriate legal framework
Need to legally define the rights and responsibilities of schools in responding to bullying and cyberbullying situations and cyber defamation. Legal remedies are not a solution to bullying but are a necessary part of the solution. Need to clarify the role of the criminal and civil law in both bullying and cyberbullying.
4. Increased focus on school transition
Bullying peaks at times of transition between preschool and primary school, and primary and secondary, therefore institutions need to increase their focus on bullying, including cyberbullying at these times.
5. A whole school approach
Schools need to use evidence-informed strategies and include teachers, parents and students and the wider community to enhance cybersafety and wellbeing and reduce bullying.
6. A whole community approach
Solutions need to go beyond the school gate, given that bullying in schools is often a reflection of the whole community.
7. Young people need to be part of the solution
Young people are essential to the solution and must be involved in policy development, parent education and development of multimedia education materials.
8. Technology needs to be part of the solution
Adults, including parents and teachers need to break down the digital divide by becoming savvy about technology. We must all recognise that the creative use of technology as a powerful teaching and socialising tool. The focus needs to be on behaviours and relationships, and it is counterproductive to ban technology.
9. Support for ongoing research
There needs to be ongoing research into cybersafety and wellbeing, including effective strategies for engaging parents, keeping up to date with changes in technology, appropriate interventions in schools.
10. Federal funding
Sufficient Federal funding for an Australia-wide system to
implement these cybersafety and wellbeing solutions for
CSA encourages all schools to strive to address these actions. For further information visit the NCAB website.
As the end of the financial year approaches, we would like to encourage any individuals or organisations to consider making a tax deductible donation to Children's Safety Australia Inc. (CSA).
All donations are directly used to achieve our aims to maximise the safety and enhance the wellbeing of children and young people and encourage them to reach their full potential.
Donations can be made via cheque, money order or electronic funds transfer. Please complete the Donation Form or contact us for further information. Note: All donations over $2 are tax deductible.