Teaching Child Safety Online


by Zuzana Urbanek | Childhelp Program Manager, Curriculum

Education is changing, perhaps forever, due to the coronavirus pandemic. School closings affect nearly 1.2 billion learners globally. Educators everywhere are adapting to teaching virtually, tailoring instruction in all subjects to online delivery. Many schools and districts have learning platforms, and tech companies are collaborating to help reach students where they are.

Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) lessons about personal safety are no different. They can be taught remotely alongside core subjects. For example, facilitators can share their screen to show the digital flipcharts that are typically displayed for students during each lesson. And it just takes a little ingenuity to distribute materials and adapt group and hands-on activities to the web format.

Screencap from Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe

Adapting CHSUBS to the virtual classroom is the focus of a course we created, available in our learning management system (LMS). The brief “Teaching Childhelp Lessons Virtually” course provides facilitators of the CHSUBS program with this helpful content:

  • Adapting to the Virtual Classroom reviews some ways to engage students.
  • Getting Ready to Teach provides facilitator checklists adapted for online teaching and some suggestions for getting forms to parents and handouts to students.
  • Teaching the Lessons offers virtual classroom alternatives for activities and group discussions by grade level, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Handing Disclosures, compiled with the expertise of counselors at the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, builds on the instruction for “How to Handle Disclosures” in our Facilitator Universal Module 1. It discusses important concepts to ensure a safe avenue for students who might want to disclose abuse.
  • Finally, a Resources Addendum lists some free online tools for teaching, chatting, and collaborating, for those facilitators who may not have a complete platform provided by a school or organization.

In addition, we’ve created a playlist on the LMS with articles and features that deal with the challenges of our times. “Strategies for Today” contains pieces about everything from learning how to teach online to innovative ways to support students.

The pandemic has lasted longer than many people imagined it would. Multiple challenges face students, educators, and parents/caregivers. Getting child abuse prevention education to kids when and where they need it should not be one of them. Many children are isolated and may be trapped with potential abusers. It is more important than ever to equip them with the knowledge and skills to recognize, resist, and intervene in abuse.

Moreover, as the school year begins—be it virtually or in person—students make contact once again with the safe adults in their school: their teachers, counselors, social workers, and other staff. Historically, reports of abuse rise after school breaks, and this break has been a long one. Kids need to know they should “Tell someone” and that “Abuse is NEVER my fault.” Educators also greatly benefit from the training provided by CHSUBS in spotting the signs and symptoms of abuse and handling disclosures to support their students.

Prevention education can STOP abuse before it starts and break the cycle of abuse. If you know of a school, district, or organization that is not yet using CHSUBS, we can provide an introduction! Please contact Sales Director Michael Fulcher at mfulcher@childhelp.org.

Also feel free to connect with us:

If you want to support Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe directly, visit our fundraising page.