Childhelp - Speak Up Be Safe

Measuring the impact of prevention education.

Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe Working With Arizona State UniversityChildhelp Speak Up Be Safe facilitator feedback is an integral part of the program’s successful implementation. With the expansion of the program from Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade, Childhelp is working with Arizona State University to incorporate additional evaluation standards to further reinforce program goals.

During the fall of 2010, with the help of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, the 1st-6th grade Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe curriculum was delivered to nearly 20,000 students in Florida schools. This pilot of the new curriculum resulted in 424 disclosures of abuse and bullying, a 2% disclosure rate. Additionally, facilitator feedback revealed that 99% of facilitators felt the curriculum appropriately covered sexual abuse, 98% felt physical abuse and neglect were covered appropriately, and 98% felt that children were empowered with safety information after the lessons.

In the 2014-2015 school year, with the help of corporate sponsor Origami Owl and the launch of the SUBS Learning Management Portal, the 1st-6th grade curriculum was delivered to almost 40,000 students nationwide, which resulted in 390 disclosures of bullying, cyberbullying, abuse, or neglect. Almost 1% of the students who received the lessons were directly impacted by abuse or neglect and were able to identify and seek help for their unsafe situations.

On a smaller scale, a Phoenix-metro school district implemented the lessons for 1st-6th grades in 2014-2015 to over 4000 students and received 84 disclosures of abuse and neglect, an almost 2% impact rate. Although 1-2% is not a large number, this represents the children who initially found the courage to disclose abuse to someone at the school within the few days or weeks after a Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe lesson. Longer term research of the impact of effective prevention education programs suggests that many more will also be able to identify unsafe situations before they are abused, while others will eventually be able to recognize that what has happened or is happening to them is not okay, and they will have the resources to seek help.

After a pilot study in 2016-2017, the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe curriculum evolved from its initial version to a research-based comprehensive prevention curriculum that empowers youth and emphasizes the role of adult/community responsibility in keeping children safe. In 2018-19, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted to examine the effects of the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe curriculum in disrupting child abuse, neglect, and other forms of child maltreatment. The RCT employed a pre-, post-, and six-month follow-up design for kindergarten to eighth grade students. The students who received the curriculum, compared to the group who did not receive the curriculum, had statistically significant differences in safety knowledge scores between groups by grade level at time of follow-up. For 2019-20, an additional RCT was designed to allow for efficacy testing with high school student for grade levels 9-12.

Published Research Results

Programmatic Evaluations

Curriculum Synopsis

The pre-K kids LOVE the "Special Me" song.
The kids really like the activities, such as the boundary activity for 6th graders.
AW, Indiana

Prevention education is the key to ending child abuse.

Research-Based, Evidence Informed

The content and delivery of all Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe lessons is based on best practices from research in child development, learning styles, social psychology, and child abuse and neglect prevention.

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Ecological Approach

With materials and support for facilitators, teachers, parents, school administrators, and community members, Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe helps children build a responsive safety network with the safe adults in their lives.

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Comprehensive Pre-K – 12 Curriculum

Developmentally-appropriate lessons at each grade level focus on the risks children at that age might encounter, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, bullying, and cyberbullying.

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