October 2007

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‘All about Me’ training rolls out

Since the launch of the new Youth Education Service programme ‘All about Me’ on 30 March this year, a national training programme for early childhood centres has been rolling out.

All about Me - Tōku Āhuatanga Whānui - was developed by the Police Youth Education Service to help early childhood centres prevent and handle evidence of child abuse.

In Term One last year, the programme was piloted in 21 centres in Dunedin, Porirua and Auckland, and has been evaluated by the Education Review Office (ERO).

Attendees at one of the Christchurch ‘All about Me’ training sessions.

From left: Veronica Chatwin, Educational Child Care Centre, Dallington Christchurch;

Constable Kate Brown, Police Education Officer, North Canterbury;

Lyn Roberts-Thomson, CPS Trainer; and Jenny Hall, Mairehau First Learners.

Gill Palmer, Police Youth Education Services (YES), says the Education Review Office advised Police the child abuse programme should not be sent directly to early childhood centres.

“Because of the sensitive nature of the subject matter, centres needed to be trained in the issues surrounding abuse and the implementation of the All about Me programme,” says Gill.

“It’s a very difficult thing for young children to disclose abuse and early childhood teachers can be in the position of being the child’s voice.

“Evidence of child abuse is a terrible thing to be confronted with, but we need teachers to be prepared to deal with it when it happens and know what to do.

“The baby, toddler or young child is not in a position to stand up for itself and it is not enough to say after the event what a terrible thing that was. We all need to act now to bring about some change,” says Gill.

Training of early childhood centre staff is being undertaken on behalf of Police by Hamilton’s Child Protection Studies Institute (CPS). Between 6 March and 30 August, CPS ran training sessions at 18 locations throughout New Zealand.

Around 600 participants representing 165 early childhood centres have taken part in the training. The ERO is also evaluating the training.

Between now and December, All about Me training sessions will take place in Wellington, Northland, Lower Hutt, Wairarapa, North Shore, ĹŚrewa and Henderson.

All about Me is part of the Police Keeping Ourselves Safe child abuse prevention programme which has been operating in primary schools since the 1980s.

The new module was developed by a group of early childhood teachers, Police and other early childhood education experts.

At the launch of ‘All about Me’, Police staff and guests prepare to release 18

balloons, each marked with a white cross, symbolising the number of children

who have died from child abuse since 2004.

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