Abuse occurs in all communities, regardless of their ethnic, socio-economic, geographic and religious make-up. A child who has been abused is less likely to reach their full potential as an individual, may struggle to focus on learning, and may fail to thrive.
What is Keeping Ourselves Safe?
Keeping Ourselves Safe (KOS) consists of a comprehensive range of child protection resources to help students learn and apply a range of safety skills that they can use when interacting with others. For more details on the resources, see the Information for Teachers page, or see the frequently asked questions (PDF, 66KB).
The New Zealand Police recommends that schools use the learning activities in Keeping Ourselves Safe within a whole-school approach as described in the intervention planning tool (PDF, 321KB).
How principals and boards can support KOS
Principals and boards are strongly encouraged to support KOS by ensuring the school's child protection policy includes both prevention and response procedures.
Prevention procedures may include implementing classroom lessons (e.g., those described in the lesson plans) and whole-school activities that promote positive behaviours and encourage an environment in which children who feel abused are empowered to speak up about the abuse.
Response procedures clearly describe how to identify and respond to suspected abuse and neglect (as required under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014).
Policy development is part of the implementation process for KOS described in:
- an implementation guide for primary schools (DOC, 126KB)
- an implementation guide for secondary schools (DOC, 123B)
Monitoring the effectiveness of KOS
The effectiveness of KOS can be monitored through analysis of school data gathered from the Wellbeing@school surveys.
KOS resources and support
The Police supports schools to operate KOS through:
- a comprehensive range of curriculum-linked, age-appropriate and evaluated learning activities available on this website (see Resources)
- sample PowerPoint presentations for a staff workshop (PPT, 3.4MB) and parents’ meeting (PPT, 3.3MB)
- KOS parent workshop questions (DOC, 19KB)
- School Community Officers to support a parents’ evening, conduct staff workshops, take part in the occasional classroom lesson, and describe the programme to the Board of Trustees
- additional audio-visual teaching resources that are referenced in the learning activities – these are available from the School Community Officers
- an evaluation report called To what extent can Keeping Ourselves Safe protect children (PDF)
- a range of additional pamphlets, including:
- Are Your Kids Safe: A Pamphlet for Parents, Caregivers and Whānau (PDF) – in English
- Kei te Noho Haumaru āu Tamariki? (PDF) – Te reo version
- Keeping Kids Safer in Cyberspace: A Pamphlet for Parents and Caregivers (PDF)
- Safely Home: A Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers (PDF) – how to ensure the safety of children left on their own
- Keeping Kids Safer: A Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers to Help Keep Children Safer from Abuse (PDF) – This resource was adapted from the project No Excuse for Abuse! by the Young New Zealanders’ Foundation
- Keeping Ourselves Safe: A Pamphlet for Parents, Caregivers and Whānau – describes the Keeping Ourselves Safe programme
- Te Haumaru i a Tātou Ake (PDF) – describes the Keeping Ourselves Safe programme in Te Reo.
Sexuality education guide
The Ministry of Education’s Sexuality Education: a guide for principals, boards of trustees, and teachers is also of relevance to schools when considering child abuse / relationship violence programmes.