What topics does the program cover?
The ACBS program teaches children:
- everyones’ right to be safe; reinforcing that adults are responsible for children’s safety
- skills in understanding safe and unsafe feelings, people and places
- skills to take action to either solve problems on their own or seek help
- skills in identifying individual strengths and building resilience
Who is the program designed for?
The ACBS program is for all children, 4 to 7 years old in preschool or early primary school. While the original program was created in partnership with an Aboriginal community, the program promotes concepts around safe communities and is suitable for all children, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
Who runs the program with children?
The ACBS program is for any professional who works with pre-school or early primary school aged children or their families and has an interest in or a responsibility for running Protective Behaviours Programs. All Children Being Safe facilitators include Pre-school and Early Primary School Teachers and Assistants, School and Family Counsellors, Aboriginal Health Workers, Family Support Workers, Police Officers and local Aboriginal Elders. NAPCAN provides training (typically a one day workshop) to prepare staff to facilitate the program.
How do I organise a training?
Please contact NAPCAN to organise a fee for service training for your school or community. You can contact us here.
How long does the program run for?
The program is structured to be delivered over a six week period. NAPCAN encourages extension of the program to continue to reinforce the themes over the term or year. This flexibility in delivery ensures that individuals or groups of children have the necessary amount of time to grasp the concepts of protective behaviours and build skills in staying safe in their community.
What resources are required to run the program?
The ACBS storybook and program manual are required to run the program. They are included in the cost of the training and are not available for purchase on their own.
Various supportive resources (such as craft resources) are outlined in detail in the program manual.
Do we only run the program once?
No. The program can be run every few months to ensure the children are retaining the program’s concepts and keeping safe in their local community. Many preschools that implement the program do so on a regular basis, incorporating other stories and resources that enhance the learning around feelings and safety. For example, excursions to the local Police Station, Ambulance Station and Fire Brigade can all be linked to the ACBS program, supporting discussion around keeping ourselves safe in our local communities and who to talk to.
What other stories can be used?
One of the most powerful ways of helping children to explore and experience feelings in a non threatening manner is through stories. During or after the ACBS Program has been implemented, other stories can be used to extend ‘feelings’ associated with the program. Example stories include:
When I’m Feeling – Feelings of happy, sad, angry, scared, jealous, lonely, kind, loved. A set of 8 books by Trace Moroney.
Alfie’s Feet and Alfie Gives a Hand – by Shirley Hughes, explore feelings of pride and happiness.
Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and The Teddy Robber by Ian Beck discuss characters who feel guilty for a variety of reasons, along with exploring what is right and what is wrong.
Similarly, additional stories about bush animals and dreamtime stories can be used to revisit the themes. For example:
The Lizard Gang, by Kirra Somerville or How the Kangaroos Got their Tails: An Aboriginal Story told by George Lirrmiyarri, compiled by Pamela Lofts
Why are bush animals used in the program?
Bush animals support children to learn because they add significance and meaning to stories. Often children can relate to animals, perhaps having pets of their own, living in communities that have a significant animal life or experiencing the enjoyment of a visit to a zoo.
Animals lack an obvious gender, age or race. They teach both boys and girls to love and look after others, and can assist children who are shy, hyperactive and have learning disabilities.
Animal characters may assist children to try out new roles and emotions from a safe distance and safe environment, along with greater autonomy and feelings of empowerment.
Animals strongly reflect ‘being, belonging and becoming’ for many Indigenous cultures.