Kidpower Texas, established by Dr. Jen Johnson, is an office of Kidpower International, the global nonprofit leader in social safety education for all ages and abilities since 1989.
Kidpower Texas Origin Story
When I was a teacher of the deaf in K-12 schools, I didn’t have a resource to help me teach my students about safety and healthy relationships. I learned about Kidpower because I became part of the ACE-DHH Child Maltreatment Workgroup to advocate for and strategize around getting safety addressed in Individual Education Plans of children with disabilities. As part of my work, I wrote an article for Gallaudet’s Odyssey Magazine called “Preventing Abuse of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: What Teachers Can Do”. When I asked the Workgroup for resources to include in the article, former Kidpower board member, Dr. Harold Johnson, recommended Kidpower. I included a link to Kidpower resources and started exploring them on my own. After the article came out, Kidpower Executive Director, Irene van der Zande, reached out to thank me for including Kidpower as a resource and asked if there was anything she could do to help my research efforts. I said, “I’m so glad you asked!”
Over the next couple of years I attended Kidpower instructor training and completed my doctoral dissertation by studying accommodations that would make Kidpower curriculum more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing children. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, I know that if I had had the knowledge and skills Kidpower provides children, I wouldn’t have had the same experience as a child because I would have had tools to recognize what was happening and to persist in seeking help. For that reason, I have remained connected with and invested in Kidpower International.
When I started my organization, The Child Safety Collaborative, my goal was to bring together the best evidence-based resources available to collaboratively address student and teacher well-being in my state. I am proud to host the Kidpower Texas Center and serve as its Center Director. The difference we can make when we all work together for the benefit of children is so much greater than what any organization can do alone.
About Dr. Johnson
Dr. Jen Johnson is an educational psychologist and founder of The Child Safety Collaborative, a collaborative partner of Kidpower International and host for the Kidpower Texas Center. Through the Collaborative, Dr. Johnson supports families, non-profit organizations, places of worship, and schools by designing, implementing, and evaluating the success of customized interventions and training related to child abuse prevention and healthy relationships. Dr. Johnson is also the founder of the Teacher Care Network and best-selling author of THRIVing After Burnout: A Teacher’s Compassionate Guide, which focuses on teacher well-being as a protective factor against child abuse.