ALL CHILDREN BEING SAFE
Protective Behaviours Program
Every child has the right to feel safe – in their home, their community and at school or preschool. Protective behaviours programs like All Children Being Safe (ACBS) promote and advocate that “every child has the right to feel safe all the time”.
The program allows children to explore what it is to feel safe and unsafe, promotes awareness about where children can go and who they can talk to if they feel unsafe and recognises that adults are responsible for childrens’ safety. A core message of the ACBS program is that communities need to work together to keep children safe.
KidsMatter (2013) states that: Protective behaviours have a much broader application, not merely focusing on abuse prevention but addressing empowerment, communication, self-esteem, resilience, social skills and other life skills. By teaching and promoting these concepts, Protective Behaviours help to prevent abuse, reduce violence and promote life-enriching rather than life-depleting experiences. It encourages people to:
- Assert their right to feel safe
- Listen to what their body tells them
- Follow up by taking action to either solve problems on their own or to seek assistance from other people.
For more information on protective behaviour programs generally go to: www.pbaustralia.com
The All Children Being Safe (ACBS) Protective Behaviours program has been developed to provide preschool children (ages 4 to 5 years) and early primary school children (ages 5 to 7 years) with non-threatening ways to help them feel strong and stay safe in their communities.
The program is introduced to children in interactive one-hour lessons, typically run over six weeks. The safety messages are introduced through stories about bush animals from their local environment. The children also take part in small group discussions, craft activities, music and movement, drama and puppets. The stories teach children to identify safe and unsafe feelings, people, places, and encourages them to talk with trusted support people.
Two versions of the program currently exist:
- Developed in Greenhill/Kempsey NSW, the original program includes the dingo, kangaroo, echidna, kookaburra, koala and king parrot.
- Adapted in Santa Teresa community, NT an alternative version of the program includes the dingo, kangaroo, bush turkey, bearded dragon, willie wagtail, black cockatoo and emu.
The ACBS Preschool can be extended over a longer period of time and aligns with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and National Quality Standard (NQS).