SAFE - Personal Safety Skills for Deaf Children

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Summary

A group work programme used by professionals working with deaf children aged 7 and above which aims to help children recognise abuse, avoid situations that might out them at risk and know how to seek help if they have concerns.

Type of intervention

Classroom setting, group work

Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups

  • Children and Young People (Victims) | Secondary prevention | Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years) | Male and female | Classroom setting, group work | Interventions for those with disabilities/learning difficulties | English

Target population

The SAFE programme is designed to prevent the sexual abuse of deaf children and young people aged seven years and above. It can also be used by hearing children.

SAFE is intended for use by teaching or other staff who are delivering personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and Social Aspects of Learning (SEAL). It is also relevant for professionals undertaking work with deaf children including social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and care and communication support workers. The programme can also help parents and carers to promote the safety and wellbeing of deaf children.

Delivery organisation

Published by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and developed in partnership with Triangle Services for Disabled Children UK.

Mode and context of delivery

SAFE is a group work programme for professionals to use with deaf children and young people. It is primarily intended for use in schools as part of PHSE or SEAL lessons, but can also be used in individual work with deaf children. The programme is in the form of a DVD and Practice Guide. British Sign Language (BSL) and subtitles are used.

Level/nature of staff expertise required

SAFE is designed to be used by professionals who are working with deaf children (e.g. social workers, psychologists, teachers, psychiatrists and care and communication support workers). The programme provides them with all the necessary guidance and materials to support delivery of the group work programme.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)

There are a number of sessions from which to select and these vary in length according to need.

Description of intervention

SAFE: Personal Safety Skills for Deaf Children is a group work programme for professionals to use with deaf children and young people aged seven years and above. It aims to give deaf children the knowledge, awareness and language to keep themselves safe. The programme aims to help deaf children to understand and recognise abuse and other ways in which they could come to harm, to avoid situations that place them at risk and to seek help if they have any concerns. It empowers children to make more informed choices about their lives, encourages peer support and strengthens their identity, self-confidence and self-esteem.

SAFE includes a DVD and a Practice Guide. Topics covered by the programme include feelings, relationships, differences, bullying, growing up (including sex and relationship education), personal safety in and outside the home, road safety, risks posed by the internet and mobile phones and seeking help. Key messages on each topic area are delivered by deaf young people and are supported by role plays and a range of visual materials, including story boards depicting groups of people and a range of scenarios, ‘feelings cards’ and animations.

The Practice Guide provides information and guidance on planning and delivering a personal safety skills programme including exercises for each topic area. The deaf presenters and role-plays are provided in BSL with subtitles and audio.

Evaluations

The programme is currently being evaluated by The University of Manchester. Initial findings are that the programme is good, but that it is not being as widely used as intended because of pressures on the teaching curriculum and the lack of priority being given to the issue.

References

SAFE: Personal safety skills for deaf children: Kovic, Y., Lucas- Hancock, J and Miller, D. (2009) NSPCC, London. 

Contact details

Telephone: 0207 825 2815
Website: www.nspcc.org.uk
Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

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