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Teaching Protective Behaviours to Young Children


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Although it may be difficult to accept, children and young people from any community, including those with disabilities, can be put at risk of harm, abused or hurt, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity. All children have the right to be safeguarded from abuse or neglect so they have the opportunity to reach their potential and be successful adults. Teaching Protective Behaviours to Young Children teaches children to develop an awareness of personal safety; helps them to identify and express their feelings; and to make choices and solve problems.
The book outlines the First Steps to Safety programme, which has taken the core protective behaviour principles and created a teaching framework with overarching aims, with supporting lesson plans, resources and activities, in a 10-week programme that can be picked up and used by anyone in school wanting to empower children and young people of any age and any capability to develop personal safety. The information and strategies provided to children are generic and applicable across a range of situations that may arise, for example bullying, internet safety, being harmed, feeling sad or feeling unsafe.
Sessions include:

My body parts

Showing my feelings

My body, thoughts and feelings all go together

Feeling safe

Behaviour choices

The sessions are designed to enable children to:

Feel safe and know they have a right to feel safe

Have the confidence and ability to assertively manage their own safety

Take responsibility for their own bodies, thoughts, feelings and behaviour

Have an awareness of their body, thoughts, feelings and behaviour

Have a vocabulary to express how their thoughts and feelings affect their bodies

Know the early warning signs for feeling unsafe

Know they can make different behaviour choices based on feelings

Know who good people are to go to for help and how to ask for help Teaching Protective Behaviours to Young Children includes CD-Rom containing all resources and supporting information for lesson plans.

About the Author

Carolyn Gelenter trained as an early years teacher in Sydney in the early 1980s. After completing her studies, she worked in long day care for children aged 0-5 years. She then gained employment with Community Child Care Co-op in Sydney, at the time an advocacy and training organisation for children's services. Carolyn moved to the UK in the early 1990s and has worked across primary and special needs in London. Working in both inner-city Sydney and London led her to want to understand and work more effectively with children with language needs. As a result, she completed a postgraduate certificate in Speech and Language Difficulties from Birmingham University in early 2000 and then went on to do an MSc in Joint Professional Practice at City University and the Institute of Education. She has worked for Westminster Local Authority since 1999 in various capacities and as an advisory teacher for SLCN (Speech, Language, Communication Needs) since 2004. In 2010, the advisory service was transferred to Westminster Special Schools, where she is now based. Nadine Prescott has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for the past 11 years. She trained in New Zealand and started her career working in an urban rural mixed setting in the South Island of New Zealand. She moved to the UK in 2006 where she stayed for 7 years. She began her UK career working in innercity London mainstream primary schools and then took on the role of Principal Speech and Language Therapist for the Speech & Language Therapy Service to Mainstream Secondary Schools in Westminster. Currently Nadine works for the Ministry of Education in Christchurch, New Zealand where she works with children aged birth to 21 years with a range of communication needs. She has worked across a range of different settings, including early childhood centres, nurseries, kindergartens, rural play groups, clinics, children's homes and mainstream primary and secondary schools. Nadine's work as a speech and language therapist has always had a strong focus on collaboration with others and she enjoys being part of projects involving other professionals and parents. She especially enjoys working with secondary school-aged students as they can be a large part of this collaboration by contributing to their therapy targets and intervention. Belinda Riley is an experienced trainer and qualified social worker who has over 14 years' experience specialising in Child Protection and Safeguarding within Children and Families. She has extensive experience providing expert advice around safeguarding and child protection to a range of professionals within the Children's workforce. Belinda is originally from Perth in Western Australia but moved to London in 2002 where she continued her social work career. Through Belinda's consultancy work across a number of London Local Authorities, in particular as a Child Protection (CP) Advisor and CP Case Conference Chair, she recognised the need for specialist safeguarding and child protection training and as a result has designed, developed and implemented a number of bespoke training programmes, in particular within the Education sector. It was through this work that Belinda recognised that there was limited education for children around safety awareness. In 2012, Belinda completed the Protective Behaviours Foundation Course through Protective Behaviours UK.

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