“I have been proud to be on the Advisory Board for Kidpower for over a decade. I have seen first-hand the effectiveness of the Kidpower training in building community safety and in giving people effective skills for preventing domestic and relationship violence, abuse, and abduction. The training that Kidpower created for our officers was extremely useful in giving them more tools as ‘front-line’ social workers who are often needing to help people in crisis.”
Manny Solano, Chief of Police
Watsonville Police Department
By adapting and expanding our curriculum, Kidpower provides consultation, training, and educational materials that show people how to use our Successful Practice Method for teaching People Safety skills in their personal and professional lives.
In response to specific needs, we initiate special projects to further our curriculum and organizational development. Our goal is to “grow the field” of personal safety through making our expertise as widely and equitably available as possible. Below are summaries of our eight program initiatives:
1. Our Earliest Teachable Moment initiative provides young children, ages 3-6, especially those from at-risk and ethnically diverse families who are growing up in poverty or facing special life challenges, with the tools, skills, and confidence to forge new patterns in social interaction and realize their fullest and brightest potential. The children’s learning is extended through training and coaching for parents and caregivers on how to teach the skills on their own in an ongoing way.
This program represents a unique and innovative way of addressing self-esteem, self-confidence, advocacy, and physical and emotional safety issues potentially blocking children from becoming school-ready or taking full advantage of the opportunities offered in the school system. It deals with the potentially crippling effects bullying, harassment, shunning, and other insidious forms of violence and abuse can have on children’s health and social and academic skill development. Our project goal is to address these underlying problems, where possible, before the point of incidence, starting from the time that children become able to understand at age 3, in a way that is positive, NOT fear-based, and fun.
2. Our Bullying Prevention and Positive Peer Interaction initiative helps children and pre-teens make positive interaction and peer relationship choices and overcome barriers to academic and personal achievement through building their peer interaction and boundary-setting skills consistently throughout K-6 grade levels.
This program addresses how negative peer interactions, emotional and physical bullying, and violence and abuse among and against children affect their positive self-image and self-esteem and pose a major barrier to their succeeding and thriving in school and life.
Research indicates that in order to promote the health, safety, and well-being of children, their families, and of communities overall, the immediate problems and the negative effects of these issues need to be addressed at the source. By addressing peer interaction dynamics proactively as part of the elementary school’s curriculum and by building the students’ peer interaction and boundary-setting skills in a variety of contexts — in the classroom, on the playground, and in online or mobile technology environments — consistently throughout the elementary grade levels, we help dismantle a major barrier to academic and personal achievement as well as physical and emotional safety.
3. Our Creating Cultures of Caring, Respect and Safety For All initiative provides for a range of services to prepare schools and health and human services agencies to integrate personal safety skills and concepts into their ongoing programs in a sustainable way for older children (middle and high school). In order to achieve long-term sustainability and systemic change, it provides teachers and program staff with professional trainings and individualized follow-up coaching in:
- how to teach core ‘People Safety’ skills on their own;
- how to incorporate the skill building as fully and comprehensively as possible into their school curriculum and overall social and environmental fabric of their school/agency, using our bilingual (English/Spanish) cartoon-illustrated comic books and teaching kits; and
- how to create a ongoing school program culture of caring, respect, and physical and emotional safety by repeatedly and consistently modeling, using, and reinforcing Kidpower skills in their daily interactions with their students.
We start by discussing with teachers and program staff how they can maximize the impact of the trainings with the youth in their care, and what level of coaching they may need personally in order to feel confident enough to start practicing skills with their students. We observe what works for them in terms of getting them to actually practice the skills with their students and build the skill level from there.
As part of these trainings, we work jointly with the staff in preparing tailored lesson plans; show them by example how to teach the skills by training their students while they watch; have them practice the skills with their students on their own; and continue to build their skill level until they feel confident enough to practice all the skills with their students on an ongoing basis.
4. Our People Safety for New Teen Drivers and Their Passengers initiative provides tools and skills to increase teen drivers and passengers ability to deal effectively with various driving safety situations including how to resist negative peer pressure. This initiative has developed curriculum and created ten (10) forty-minute lesson plans. These materials are suitable for high school sophomore teachers to use.
5. Our Vaccine Against Violence and Abuse initiative helps victims of (domestic and/or relationship) violence, abuse and assault protect themselves from re-victimization and helps others at-risk but not yet victimized from suffering violence and abuse in the first place by providing them with tools and strategies that have demonstrated performance and effectiveness in promoting physical and emotional safety. The initiative focuses on children, women, and people with physical and developmental disabilities, and by addressing survivors as well as people not yet victimized, the training serves as both a remedy and a vaccine. One component under this initiative addresses specifically children and youth, ages 5-16, who are homeless, in (domestic violence) shelters, transitional housing or foster care programs.
6. Our Crisis Intervention and Victim Support and Advocacy Training For Law Enforcement Agencies initiative provides enhanced ‘first responder’ skill training in family violence intervention and victim support and advocacy for city and county law enforcement agencies. In these trainings, which are tailored to the specific skill level of personnel in each law enforcement agency, law enforcement personnel practice specific skills that can be used to improve their effectiveness in family violence intervention and victim support and advocacy. The Table of Contents of Kidpower’s 225-page ‘Relationship Safety Book,’ developed with Verizon funding, gives a breakdown of the Kidpower safety skills and aspects of the success- and skill-based model being used in the law enforcement personnel trainings.
One component under this initiative addresses specifically ‘first-responder’ skill training for police-trained neighborhood services volunteers who visit homes, families, and children after traumatic incidents of violence.
These are tailored workshops are for law enforcement agencies that have adopted a volunteer community crisis response program. Some have set up Community Post-Incident Teams of community volunteers who are trained to go door-to-door in neighborhoods immediately after a traumatic event (e.g. shooting, stabbing, domestic violence, abduction, etc.) to discuss the event with the residents. The goals of the teams are to reduce the number of violent crimes; strengthen the relationship between the community and the City; and encourage community members to use the support and advocacy services available through the city and county public health and social services programs, as well as through the wide variety of non-profit and faith-based organizations.
In these trainings, Kidpower skills and methodology will enable these teams to help their community members, including children, cope with fears and upset and can help them address questions such as, “How do I talk about this with my kids about the incidence?”, and utilize this unique ‘teachable moment’ to teach emotional and physical ‘People Safety’ tools and skills.
7. Our Reaching Out to the Two-Thirds World initiative prepares professionals from NGOs in developing countries on how to adapt the Kidpower system of teaching personal safety skills to help prevent violence and abuse against young people who are living and/or working on the street, who are being exploited because of economic vulnerability, or whose communities have been disrupted by war or natural disaster.
8. Our Bridges to ‘People Safety’ initiatives are described separately. See Bridges to People Safety (coming soon) and Kidpower’s International Safety Signals.