The Safe4Kids Program

The Safe4Kids Program is based on the original Protective Behaviours program developed in the 1970s in the United States of America, by Peg Flandreau West and her colleagues. The world is a very different place now, and the Safe4Kids Program is continually evolving to keep pace with the challenges of delivering the most up-to-date, innovative child abuse prevention education program.

Our program has been delivered in every state and territory in Australia and also internationally in Cambodia, Indonesia, the USA and Mexico. On average, each year, we provide face-to-face teaching and training to 4,500 children, 1,000 teachers and 1,000 parents, carers and educators. Holly-ann Martin is the Managing Director and delivers all the training for Safe4Kids. Holly has over 30 years of experience in teaching child abuse prevention education and has presented the Safe4Kids program at over 30 conferences since 2007, including in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The Safe4Kids program is designed to be taught to children in childcare settings, primary schools and we also provide age-appropriate abuse prevention education for high school students.

The Safe4Kids program aims to empower and educate children to help ensure their safety, as well as inspire and inform teachers, educators, parents and carers and provide them with the tools and skills they require to help keep the children in their care safe. By teaching children the language and principles of protective education, in a holistic and integrated way, they can acquire invaluable skills and strategies to identify unsafe situations and help protect themselves from potential harm. The program is culturally sensitive, and children are taught age-appropriate, abuse prevention education concepts, and given the opportunity to practise these new skills in a safe, controlled environment.

The Safe4Kids program is not just a child abuse prevention education program. It is also a good life skills program. It teaches children and adolescents to be persistent and assertive and helps build resilience, which is so important and can also be extended to embrace anti-bullying, drug awareness, and youth suicide prevention programs.

It is unrealistic to expect children to protect themselves against abuse. It is the job of parents and adults in our community to protect children; however, a trusted adult cannot be with a child all of the time, and that is why children need to understand the concepts of body safety to try and help keep them safe.

The focus of the Safe4Kids program is not only on educating and empowering children but also educating and empowering teachers, educators, parents, carers and family and community members, on how they can reinforce the concepts of protective behaviours with the children to help keep them safe. It is this holistic, whole of community approach of the Safe4Kids program which enables the sustained delivery of the program, resulting in the anecdotal evidence suggesting the program is very successful in helping keep children safe.

The core components of the Safe4Kids Program include:

  • Directly teaching the Safe4Kids program to children and modelling the delivery of the lessons for teachers and educators
  • Provide professional development training for educators, teachers, school and childcare staff on child abuse prevention education
  • Mentoring teachers and educators so they have the confidence to continue teaching the Safe4Kids program
  • Conduct parent and carer information sessions on the importance of child abuse prevention education and how they can teach it to their children and
  • Provide professional development training for service providers .e.g  police, health workers, child protection workers, foster carers etc.

Through the wealth of experience, Holly has gained over more than 30 years of delivering child abuse prevention education, Safe4Kids has enhanced the original protective behaviours program through the introduction of additional complementary modules.

These additional modules include:

  • Public and Private
  • Saying “No” (Assertiveness)
  • The Three Safety Questions
  • Personal Space and Consent
  • Secret Enablers

Holly introduced these modules into the Safe4Kids program, based on her experiences from teaching children with special needs. Many of these additional modules are now included in protective behaviours curricula throughout Australia and the United Kingdom.

Also, Holly introduced the use of sign language to enhance the teaching of child abuse prevention education. Sign language is particularly useful in teaching children with special needs and children with English as a second language.

The development and introduction of the Secret Enablers module into the Safe4Kids program was born through the need to educate Aboriginal children on the impact of ‘tricks, lies, bribes, blackmail, threats, guilt, shame, conning and humbugging.’ This resource was developed by Holly in collaboration with health care workers, police and Aboriginal workers after it was identified older Aboriginal children were sexually abusing younger children, in a particular remote Aboriginal community, using Aboriginal Lore as the justification.

Safe4Kids has also designed and developed a range of teaching resources. These resources include:

  • The Safe4Kids Protective Education Program – This program is one of the most comprehensive child abuse prevention education programs available and is designed specifically for early years educators in childcare settings, and primary school teachers. The program is appropriate for children aged three to seven years, and for children with special needs
  • Online Parents’ Information Course
  • Ten Week Lesson Plan for Teachers
  • CD with 14 Child Protection Songs
  • Games
  • Posters and
  • Parents’ Handbooks

Holly also has self-published five children’s books with child abuse prevention education themes. These books are designed to be read by adults to children and examine specific issues relating to child abuse, including the impact of pornography on children and child-to-child sexual abuse. All of the books contain information for parents, carers and teachers, so they are informed about the content and the concepts that are covered.  For more information on each of these books, please visit our shop.

Our mission is to lead the field in designing and developing the most up-to-date, innovative and relevant child abuse prevention education resources available. It is the least we can do to help the children of the world.

For more detailed information about the Safe4Kids program, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you!


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PO Box 367
Armadale, Western Australia, 6992
Phone: +61 8 9497 7685
Mobile: 0422 971 189
Mobile: 0438 772 668

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