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 at all levels of schooling learn and apply a range of safety skills that they can use when interacting with others. For more details on these resources, see further down this page. Or you can 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 teachers can support KOS
Teachers are strongly encouraged to support KOS by:
- considering their attitudes and values towards child abuse and the importance of addressing child abuse as part of a broad and balanced curriculum
- increasing their understanding about child abuse and the use of effective pedagogies
- encouraging the principal to include both prevention and response procedures in the school's child protection policy:
- Prevention procedures may include implementing classroom lessons 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).
Monitoring the effectiveness of KOS
The effectiveness of KOS can be monitored by analysing school data. The Wellbeing@school surveys may be a useful tool to gather and analyse school data.
KOS resources for teachers
A range of resources is provided for teachers as part of KOS. These resources include:
- an implementation guide for primary schools:Keeping Ourselves Safe: Primary Implementation (DOC, 126KB)
- an implementation guide for secondary schools (DOC, 123KB)
- sample PowerPoint presentations for a staff workshop (PPT, 3.4MB) and parents’ meeting (PPT, 3.3MB)
- KOS parent workshop questions (DOC, 19KB)
- a comprehensive range of curriculum-linked, age-appropriate and evaluated learning activities for:
- School Community Officers to support a parents’ evening, conduct staff workshops (PLD) and take part in the occasional classroom lesson
- an evaluation report called To what extent can Keeping Ourselves Safe protect children (PDF 569KB)
- additional audio-visual teaching resources that are referenced in the learning activities – these are available from the School Community Officers
- a range of additional pamphlets, including:
- Are Your Kids Safe: A Pamphlet for Parents, Caregivers and Whānau (PDF, 223KB) – in English
- Kei te Noho Haumaru āu Tamariki? (PDF, 1.6MB) – Te reo version
- Keeping Kiwi Kids Safer in Cyberspace: A Pamphlet for Parents and Caregivers (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Safely Home: A Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers (PDF, 839KB) – 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, 191KB) – 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 (PDF, 319KB)– describes the Keeping Ourselves Safe programme
- Te Haumaru i a Tātou Ake (PDF, 1.7MB) – describes the Keeping Ourselves Safe programme in Te Reo
- Who abuses children? - information about the myth of 'stranger danger'.
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 education.