Committee for Children Blog

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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Welcome Wave of Change: Positive Discipline and SEL in Schools

I bet you can easily conjure up an image of a school teacher rapping the knuckles of a naughty girl with a ruler. Or a principal paddling the bottom of a boisterous boy. For a long time, this was how students were disciplined in school. They were physically punished with rulers, straps, paddles, or hands. Or shamed by being made to stand in the corner, wear a dunce cap, or write lines on the board. Perhaps you think these harsh, punitive discipline practices are a relic of a past, something we now only see in old movies or on episodes of The Simpsons. But in 19 states it’s still legal to use corporal punishment in schools.1 And since the late 1980s, zero-tolerance policies have resulted in thousands of students being excluded from schools, their right to an education stripped away for infractions sometimes as minor as chewing gum.

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Talking About Tough Topics with Tweens: Part 1 of 2

Talking about tough topics, in addition to being an excellent tongue-twister, is a skill every parent needs to master, or at least muddle through. As someone who once found the perfect moment to talk about sex with her five and eight year old children after hearing an NPR story about drive-up windows for boar semen (“What are they even talking about, Mom?”), I am a big fan of seizing natural opportunities. Of course, sometimes those opportunities don’t come soon enough, and we need to nudge them along.… Read More


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


Get a Two-fer This October with Bullying Prevention

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It’s the perfect time to shine a light on the bullying prevention efforts in your setting and find ways to beef them up. And while doing so, you’ll also be doing important work to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Now that’s a two-fer—two benefits for the price of one—everyone…… Read More