What is Safety Kid?
The Safety Kid is a comprehensive child abuse prevention program for school staff, parents and children and is designed specifically for the Orthodox Jewish community. The program was developed by Debbie Fox, LCSW, and is guided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Halachic Advisory Board, and Mothers Advocating Prevention (MAP).
- History of Safety Kid
During a six-month period in 2006, an unfortunate series of child abuse incidents shocked the Orthodox Jewish community of Los Angeles. In response, the Los Angeles Halachic Advisory Board (HAB)— group of community-representing Rabbis founded by Debbie Fox—took a stand to focus on the prevention of inappropriate relationships and interactions in the Los Angeles Jewish community.
When further allegations of misconduct towards children surfaced, the HAB commissioned Debbie Fox and a team of experts to research child abuse prevention programs, and to develop culturally-sensitive tools that empower communities and their children to prevent abuse. The result became the Safety Kid Child Abuse Prevention Series.
- Sensitivity to Orthodox Jewish CommunityThe Magen Yeladim International Safety Kid program is designed in a culturally-sensitive way to meet the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community. All teaching materials have been created under the guidance of the Los Angeles-based Halachic Advisory Board. Language and visual representations have been carefully chosen to meet high standards of modesty and appropriateness.
The Safety Kid program relies on children being able to personally identify with the teaching materials. While the message is consistent throughout, boys and girls have their own respective teaching cards, and we also designed our material in two different versions:
- The Philosophy of the Safety Kid Programs
The Safety Kid methodology is founded on the following principles:
1. It Takes a Community
A safe environment constitutes an atmosphere in which a child can focus on their personal growth and development, through academic learning and social interaction. No matter which age group our children belong to, being able to explore the world without worrying about personal safety is every child’s right and it is the responsibility of the community our children grow up in to provide that safety. Accordingly, parents, teachers and school staff need to be educated and adept in addressing and dealing with sensitive issues regarding children’s personal safety.
2. Education is Imperative
Education leads to knowledge, knowledge to skills, skills to empowerment, and empowerment to making the right choices for child safety—which, in turn, enable prevention. -Child safety education can’t just be taught to adults; it has to happen on both sides of the power dynamic. Statistics show that over 90% of abusers are known and trusted by the child. Saying ‘no’ to an adult’s or older child’s inappropriate behavior is difficult at the best of times. Saying ‘no’ to an adult the child trusts or is dependent on, without any training of what to say or do, is almost impossible. Therefore, for the greatest chance at child safety, educating children is absolutely imperative.
3. Everyone Plays a Part
Including children and adults in prevention models is essential for effective children’s safety.The Safety Kid program factors in all of these components to provide training and tools, education and information to all groups in a child’s community: school administration, educators and school staff, parents and the children themselves.
Learn more about the age-appropriate Safety Kid options:
Torah Island: Early Childhood Program Elementary Program: 1st–5th grade
Would you like to bring Safety Kid to your school or community? Contact Us