Committee for Children Blog

The Call

On the first Friday of my first week in my first year of teaching, I had to make the call. “Peter” came to school with a huge bruise on his forehead. I asked him what happened, and he said his dad hit him. There was further discussion, and as a first-year teacher, I had to make the call right then and there. Not just the actual call to Child Protective Services (CPS), but the call that as a teacher, I would do anything in my power to keep children safe – physically, socially, and emotionally.

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Book Review: Not in Room 204

When a teacher goes beyond a standard “stranger danger” lesson to tell her class it's more likely to be someone a child knows who touches a child inappropriately and that she would help anyone who had a touching problem, this is just the information and encouragement young Regina needs to report her own scary secret.

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He Just Disclosed in Class! What Do I Do?

The goal of the Child Protection Unit lessons is to develop students' ability to recognize, report, and refuse unsafe or sexually abusive situations. During the lessons, students will hear stories and scenarios about children in unsafe and potentially abusive situations who use their skills to stay safe. This may prompt students to disclose information about similar situations in their own lives, sometimes in the middle of a lesson in front of the entire class! Needless to say, this can put teachers in an uncomfortable position, and in the moment it's hard to know how to respond.… Read More


The Second Step Child Protection Unit: A New Approach to Protecting Children from Abuse and Neglect

Committee for Children has long been at the forefront of the effort to prevent child sexual abuse. In fact child sexual abuse prevention was the goal of Committee for Children's first published curriculum, the Talking About Touching program. Committee for Children has come a long way since then, bringing the power of social-emotional learning into schools around the world with the Second Step program and helping prevent bullying with the Second Step: Bullying Prevention Unit. Much has also changed in the field of child abuse prevention since the release of the Talking About Touching program, so Committee for Children recently returned to its roots and created the Child Protection Unit, a new Second Step unit designed to help protect children from sexual abuse and other forms of abuse and neglect.

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Four Tips for Creating a Safe and Supportive Classroom

It's Monday morning, and your student Charlie storms in, pushing people and throwing things. With Charlie, there are lots of days like this, especially after the weekend. But what you do next can make a big difference to Charlie's day, to your day, and to his overall experience in school. Senior Program Developer Bridgid Normand gives four practical tips for creating an environment in which Charlie and all your other students can learn.

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Celebrating the Gains Made in Children’s Safety

We don't have to tell you that helping children and youth feel safe enough to learn can feel like a difficult job. And there are moments when our protection efforts feel woefully ineffective and inadequate. But Dr. Lisa Jones, a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center, hopes you'll take a moment realize that all the hard work you and your colleagues are doing is paying off.

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Book review: Talk About Touch

by Sandra Kleven. Illustrated by Patrick Minock

Reading Level: Preschool–Grade 2

Set in a traditional Alaska Native village, Talk About Touch is an exceptionally gentle, caring story about children and parents talking about personal safety and, in particular, sexual abuse. Eric is a young boy whose father, while working with him on their snowmobile, broaches…

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Train Your Staff, Protect Your Students

By Tonje Molyneux & Matt Pearsall

Awareness about the issue of child abuse and neglect is on the rise, both among educators and the general public. This increase in awareness is good news for children who may be suffering from abuse or neglect. State and local governments across the United States are drafting new laws to help protect children. Many of these initiatives—such as Read More


Safety Built on SEL

by Tonje Molyneux

Thousands of students carrying backpacks stream into schools every day. They come to school to learn. And we rely on the adults who staff these schools to ensure that every child leaves them with the education and experience he or she needs to become a healthy, productive adult. The reality is that some children bring more to school with them in their backpacks than last night's homework. These children come weighed down by the effects of…

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