Teaching children about safety circles will help them identify the trusted adults who they can turn to if they feel worried, scared, or unsafe. It will also help them recognize and respond to unsafe situations.

Tips for Completing a Safety Circle (or Safety Network)

Teaching children about safety circles will help them identify the trusted adults who they can turn to if they feel worried, scared, or unsafe. It will also help them recognize and respond to unsafe situations.

Although it will require patience and understanding, this activity will empower children to stay safe and confident in themselves and in their interactions with others. While using age-appropriate language the following tips will help children better understand the concept of a safety circle:

  • A Safety Circle is a visual tool that teaches children who they can talk to if they feel worried, scared, or unsafe.
  • The list may include parents or other family members, caregivers, neighbors, teachers, family friends, or even parents of the child’s friends.
  • The list should also include at least one trusted adult from outside the child’s family.
  • Talk about the adults the child should trust and feel comfortable around these people and know they can reach out to them anytime.
  • Teach children the importance of having a “Safety Circle.” It is important that they realize they have someone to turn to if they are afraid, hurt or need help. If they don’t get help from one person on the list, they should move on to someone else and continue until they find the help they need.
  • The number of trusted adults will vary. Although five would be ideal, some children will have more and some will have less. The important feature is to have at least one trusted adult.
  • Rehearse scenarios where the child would potentially need a member of their safety circle. For example if they were lost, hurt, or afraid, how would they reach out to them?
  • Help children identify unsafe or dangerous situations and know what to do. This might include anyone who tries to touch them in an inappropriate way (including someone they trust).

Teach Children

  • what touch areas are inappropriate
  • the proper terminology – bottom, penis, vagina and breasts
  • to say no and to tell a trusted adult as soon as possible

Knowing they have trusted adults who will support and believe them can be a life saving skill to teach children.

Take your time with this exercise. Remember to use simple language and do it as a fun and positive experience. This will increase their ability to protect themselves and others as they navigate life.

Safety Network Instructions

For each finger, write the name of a trusted adult that you can talk to if you are worried, scared, or feel unsafe. This might include your parents or other family members, caregivers, teachers, a neighbor, or even the parent of one of your friends. At least one person should be from outside your family. Have fun when coloring or decorating your hand.

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Safety Circle Instructions

Inside your circle, write the names of trusted adults that you can talk to if you are worried, scared, or feel unsafe. This might include your parents or other family members, caregivers, teachers, a neighbor, or even the parent of one of your friends. At least one person should be from outside your family.

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