Prevention: Child Protection in Schools
Personal Safety lessons for child protection are built on the core life skills of decision-making, problem-solving, creative thinking, effective communication, interpersonal relationships, self awareness, empathy building, coping with emotions and coping with stress within the direct context of safety from physical, emotional and sexual harm.
In 1995 CPTCSA conducted its first personal safety lesson to a pilot school in Metro Manila. The number of schools that we served grew and the demand from teachers and counselors expanded so that in 2009 the Department of Education Institutionalized the program. This is our largest program in both scope and depth because it includes students, parents, teachers, staff, counselors, administrators, DepEd and DSWD.
The Center for the Prevention & Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse offers prevention materials through Personal Safety classes for grades 1 through 10. These materials are produced for the classroom, yet can also be used within social service agency groups as well as community groups.
The emphasis on Personal Safety classes to prevent child sexual abuse is through the empowerment of the child, teacher, and parents. The methodologies used are primarily through storytelling that we have collected from our 20 years of experience (using 11” X 16” illustrations) and role playing, with a variety of other activities to supplement and enhance learning. The focus of prevention education is on the provision of accurate information to the child, skills to act on that information, and self-confidence for the courage to practice skills learned.
The safety of our children is protected by our laws and the United Nations CRC. It is the responsibility of all adults to care for and protect our children. Today 30% of our children are being molested in some form, which is a statement to adults that we have failed in our responsibilities. Personal Safety is needed to empower children, yet at the same time works to strengthen the ability of those socially and morally responsible for the protection of children.
Personal safety scope and sequence at elementary include the following concepts:
- Concept 1 = Safe and unsafe touch/situations
- Concept 2 = The touching rule
- Concept 3 = Using the safety steps
- Concept 4 = Whom to tell
- Concept 5 = Secrets and responsibilities
High school lessons follow 4 major concepts:
- Concept 1 = IDENTIFY! safe and unsafe
- Concept 2 = ACCESS! trusted persons
- Concept 3 = ACT! to stay safe
- Concept 4 = VALUE! self and community
Personal Safety Lessons for preschools consist of full lesson plans with most accompanying materials. The book is divided into 6 units and further divided into 19 individual lessons.
- Unit 1: Knowing and liking my body
- Unit 2: Touching Rule #1
- Unit 3: Touching Rule #2
- Unit 4: Assertiveness
- Unit 5: Touching Rule #3
- Unit 6: Celebration
Our lessons work to ...
- give all children the primary prevention skills to know what is right and wrong behavior
- help children who are in risky communities or families the opportunity to get help outside of their family
- teach children who are abused but who cannot tell anyone that what happened is never their fault
- teach children, especially boys, appropriate touching and relationship behaviors so that they do not become sexual offenders of tomorrow.
All units of the personal safety lessons includes an option for VIOLENCE PREVENTION to help build peaceful communities that depend on respect and empathy.
Children are not the primary source of their protection, which lies with adults and the environment in which they live. Our child protection work in schools thus includes not only students but, based on the ecological model, we work with teachers, parents, staff, counselors, administrators and available resources in their communities such as the DSWD and DepEd for
support when needed.
CPTCSA is willing to lead the lessons, but feel the best to do so are the teachers with whom students have already built a relationship (hopefully a respectful and trusting relationship). For these teachers and schools, we provide training directly to teachers and facilitate the DepEd to develop a team of trainers throughout the country who can teach the lessons and be prepared to listen to disclosures and handle them appropriately.
The 3-4 day training of teachers led by a team of professionals that includes definitions, legal issues, code of conduct, characteristics and symptoms of abuse, lesson planning, sexuality, handling disclosure, and DepEd protocol for reporting. The sessions use lecture, discussion, role-playing, brainstorming, video showing, and workshops.
Follow-up assessment after personal safety classes has found that teachers feel communication with students has been enhanced, thus the goal to help teachers be the trusted adult to whom a students can report has been achieved.
CPTCSA produced a video outlining the personal safety child protection program that shows actual work in school.