Kids in the Know is an interactive safety education program created by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection designed for students from kindergarten to grade 9. This program aims to empower children while reducing victimization and its core foundation is based on 7 Root Safety Strategies and 4 Root Safety Environments (program guide p. 2).
The Kids in the Know program incorporated technology and education at school and at home (program guide p.2). It encourages children to disclose unhealthy situations and incidents (e.g., boundary breaking behaviour, abuse situations) to trusted adults (program guide p. 3). It also provides a standard of measure for what constitute risk (program guide p. 3). As a community, it is our shared responsibility to safeguard children and teach them skills that will help keep them safe. Safety education helps build children’s confidence and critical thinking skills and helps prepare them for potentially dangerous situations should they arise (program guide p. 4).
The program includes:
- Lessons for children from kindergarten to grade 9
- Program training for teachers, school counsellors, and parents
- Downloadable home activities for families
- Supplemental material for communities
Goals of the program:
- To reduce child/youth victimization by teaching children effective personal safety strategies.
- To build resiliency skills (i.e. assertiveness, self-awareness, social-emotional competence, problem-solving, critical thinking, and low-risk choice making skills).
- To encourage children to report concerning experiences and behaviours.
- To provide messaging to those who have experienced abuse that they are not to blame.
- To enhance communication between parents and children about personal safety.
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- How to dial 911.
- When to use it and when not to use it.
- Teach on an actual phone.
- Make sure the child knows how to use your (parent) cell phone.
- Teach children to remember their personal information.
- Distinguish between safe and unsafe secrets to share with a safe adult.
- Many dangerous situations involve elements of secrecy.
- Encourage disclosing inappropriate touching.
- Establish and communicate personal boundaries.
- Eye contact, clear intentions in voice, leaving a situation promptly, etc.
- Verbal and nonverbal body language.
- Describing scenarios.
- Review online safety guidelines with children.
- Practice appropriate responses to real-life situations.
- Review “what if” scenarios with parents and children.
- “If Asked to Go and Your Parents Don’t Know, SHOUT NO!” and “If Asked to Share and Your Parents Aren’t Aware, SAY NO!” are two of the Seven Root Safety Strategies taught in the safety awareness program Kids in the Know
- Understand that a child needs parent’s permission before going anywhere with anyone.
- Understand that a child needs parent’s permission before sharing any personal information or photographs with anyone.
- Be aware of sending kids mixed messages regarding affection: “We need to actively listen to our children and be careful not to send them mixed messages. When we force them to show affection to people that they do not initiate affection towards or are reluctant to do so (an adult friend they do not want to hug), we send a confusing message.”