International Reach

SEL Across the Globe

For more than two decades, we’ve partnered with like-minded organizations to provide culturally adapted versions of Second Step® social-emotional learning (SEL) programs for schools around the world. Today, Committee for Children continues to be at the forefront of a global movement to bring SEL into the fabric of education worldwide. Our international partners are leading SEL advocates in their countries, providing teachers with the training they want and schools with the resources they need to help the world grow kinder.

Learn more about our programs and partners around the world.

An Emphasis on Early Learning

Adapted versions of our preschool-age programs, Second Step® Early Learning and Second Step® Elementary for Kindergarten, provide educators and children in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Slovakia, Sweden, and Turkey with an effective approach to developing children’s self-regulation and social-emotional competence.

early learning kit

Government-Backed Initiatives

Recent initiatives that support the implementation of our Second Step programs in various countries and contexts include:


Brazil: In collaboration with our in-country partner, Instituto Vila Educação, and the São Paulo Department of Education, students throughout the state of São Paulo are learning social-emotional skills with an adapted version of our program, integrated into the public school curriculum.


Lithuania: With financing from the European Social Fund, our partner, Paramos vaikams centras, provides training and curricula to more than 40 schools, reaching an estimated 4,000 students.


Mexico: More than 75,000 students in highly vulnerable neighborhoods in San Luis Potosí benefitted from our donation of program resources and training. Initially offered as part of the Ministry of Education initiative Ruta de Mejora, Second Step program implementation has continued in schools across this state.


Panama: United Way Panama, in coordination with the National Secretary of Childhood, Adolescence, and Family, provided preschools and primary schools with versions of our SEL programs as part of the Crecer en Comunidad initiative, funded by the European Union. More than 100 teachers and 2,500 children benefitted from this program implementation, which continues in highly vulnerable communities in the city.

International Schools Count on Second Step® Programs

International school leaders in more than 70 countries appreciate how easy it is to implement Second Step programs within their unique communities and cultural contexts. From Hamburg to Hong Kong, Maputo to Mexico City, Singapore to Doha, international schools in cities around the world rely on our programs to support the social-emotional well-being of students and educators, and to help them build safer, more positive school communities where everyone can thrive.

Success Stories

Instituto Vila Educação, Brazil

Positive Pieces Education, Australia

Wise Edu Plus, China

In the News

Stories, interviews, and events showcasing adapted versions of Second Step® programs around the world.









Slovakia and Czech Republic

Adapted Program Outcomes

Research studies of international translations and adaptations of Second Step® Elementary and Second Step® Middle School found that the adaptations were effective. This page provides an overview of those studies organized by adaptation. See also the Program Outcomes section of our Second Step Programs and Research page.

Faustlos: German Adaptation of Second Step® Elementary (1987)

This study investigated the impact of Faustlos on students (Grades 1–3, N=720). Compared to the control group, students who participated in Faustlos had significantly lower levels of anxiety and internalizing behaviors according to parent reports. In student interviews, Faustlos students reported having less fear of losing control.

Schick, A., & Cierpka, M. (2005). Faustlos: Evaluation of a curriculum to prevent violence in elementary schools. Applied and Preventive Psychology11(3), 157–165.

This study investigated students’ (mean age 9 years, N=113) ratings of the usefulness of Faustlos and the relationship between usefulness and student outcomes. Overall, 79.9 percent of students in Faustlos rated the program as useful and reported that they used what they learned in the program daily. Students who rated the program as useful had lower levels of aggression and higher levels of empathy and anger regulation.

Grumm, M., Hein, S., & Fingerle, M. (2013). Improving prevention programs: First results on the relation between subjectively perceived levels of usefulness and social competencies. European Journal of Psychology of Education28(1), 121–131.

Steg for Steg: Norwegian Translation of Second Step® Middle School (1997)

Students (Grades 5–7 at Time 1) in Steg for Steg were compared to students who had not participated in Steg for Steg. Compared to students who had not participated in the program, students who did had stronger social-emotional skills and academic performance. This effect was stronger for low-income than high-income students.

Holsen, I., Iversen, A. C., & Smith, B. H. (2009). Universal social competence promotion programme in school: Does it work for children with low socio-economic background? Advances in School Mental Health Promotion2(2), 51–60.

Boys and girls (Grades 5–7 at Time 1) in Steg for Steg were compared to students who had not participated in Steg for Steg. Grade 6 boys in Steg for Steg had lower levels of externalizing behaviors than Grade 6 boys in the comparison group; there was no effect for Grade 6 girls. Grade 7 girls in Steg for Steg had stronger social-emotional skills than Grade 7 girls in the comparison group; there was no effect for Grade 7 boys.

Holsen, I., Smith, B. H., & Frey, K. S. (2008). Outcomes of the social competence program Second Step in Norwegian elementary schools. School Psychology International29(1), 71–88.

This study investigated Norwegian principals’ perception of their role in supporting Steg for Steg program implementation. Strong implementation of the program required three sets of features. First, it required strong, continued, and systematic leadership. Second, it required teacher commitment, principal support, the creation of policies to support the program, and adequate resources to enable teachers to implement the program. Third, the program had to be anchored at both the administrative and staff levels of the school.

Larsen, T., & Samdal, O. (2008). Facilitating the implementation and sustainability of Second Step. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research52(2), 187–204.

Segundo Paso: Guatemalan Translation of the Kindergarten Curriculum from Second Step®: A Violence Prevention Program (Third Edition, 2002)

Students (ages 3–6 years) participated in Segundo Paso. Both low- and high-income students had increased knowledge of social-emotional skills following participation in the program compared to before the program. High-income students improved significantly more than low-income students.

Clinton, A. B., Edstrom, L., Mildon, H. A., & Davila, L. (2015). Social emotional learning in a Guatemalan preschool sample: Does socioeconomic status moderate the effects of a school-based prevention program? School Psychology International, 36(1), 18–35.

Programa Compasso Socioemocional: Brazilian Adaptation of Second Step® Elementary (2011)

This study investigated the impact of Programa Compasso Socioemocional on students (Grades 1–5, N=3,018) in Rio de Janeiro. High levels of violent crime directly impacted education and caused school closures. With this context in mind, the sample was divided into schools in low- versus high-homicide communities. While there were no significant effects for the full sample, the students in low-homicide communities had significant increases in emotional expression labeling and inhibitory control.

McCoy, D. C., Hanno, E. C., Ponczek, V., Pinto, C., Fonseca, G., & Marchi, N. (2021). Um compasso para aprender: A randomized trial of a social‐emotional learning program in homicide‐affected communities in Brazil. Child Development92(5), 1951–1968.