Child welfare clearinghouse deems child abuse prevention curriculum supported by research evidence while recent industry awards point to promising potential for onscreen outreach

PHOENIX — Leading child abuse prevention nonprofit Childhelp has new reasons to celebrate its Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe child abuse prevention curriculum. Whether for science or for the screen, it’s all for the love of a child.

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, a group that advances evidence-based practices in child welfare, has upgraded its rating of the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe child safety curriculum from a level-three rating — for programs with promising research evidence — to a level-two rating, for programs supported by research evidence. The change comes on the heels of a new publication in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” that details results of randomized control trials that involved students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.

“Childhelp is grateful for the partnership with Arizona State University-Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center for the rigorous research to help ensure the Speak Up Be Safe curriculum is a high-quality child abuse prevention education program,” said Michelle Fingerman, vice president of prevention programs at Childhelp. “Preventing abuse and empowering youth to speak up is critical.”

In addition, a live-action video called “A Dream Job,” created as a human trafficking prevention public service announcement, was recognized with two 2023 Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honor excellence in commercials and non-broadcast video, with “A Dream Job” winning a silver for non-broadcast writing and a bronze in the non-broadcast social issue category.

The four-minute video depicts two teens lured by human traffickers and was produced with The Flip Side Communications from input offered by anti-trafficking experts. It was developed and produced for the newly-available Childhelp Human Trafficking Prevention Curriculum.

Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe program manager, and writer of the award-winning “A Dream Job,” Zuzana Urbanek praises the academic input of those involved in creating the new curriculum: “Childhelp worked with local, national, and international experts in anti-trafficking, psychology, social work, and survivor care to create lessons for grades 6 through 12 that will hold the attention of youth and help them recognize and avoid risks that happen in person and online today.”

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