Doing Right by Our Kids

Protecting Child Safety at All Levels

We've seen great progress in keeping our kids safe. Yet we still have a long way to go! Research has shown that bullying, abuse, and other harmful childhood experiences cause suffering not only when they occur, but can negatively affect individuals throughout their lives. Unfortunately, the fear of feeling uncomfortable and not knowing what to do often get in the way of taking effective action. Doing Right by Our Kids creates a full circle of safety, getting adults on the same page--in families, schools, organizations, and communities.

The safety of kids is everybody's business! Discover how to:

  • Use the powerful 'Safety at All Levels' model, beginning at home and then extending to neighbors, schools, sports, and beyond.
  • Become a positive, powerful advocate for child safety and respect.
  • Take charge of two critical factors that create vulnerable situations.
  • Apply 'In the Moment' strategies to stop problems from growing.
  • Teach confidence-building safety skills for kids, and strategies that all adults need to know.
  • Use powerful keys to persuade larger organizations to take action to protect child safety and respect at all levels.
  • Bonus toolkit: Essential skills, strategies, and practices from Kidpower®, a proven global leader in 'People Safety' education for all ages and abilities.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD by Dan Heath

PART I: Safety for Kids = Peace of Mind for Parents

CHAPTER 1: The Heart of Child Protection
CHAPTER 2: Kidpower’s Core Safety Principles for Adults
CHAPTER 3: Safety Comes from Within: Core Kidpower Skills to Protect Our Children and Empower Our Families
CHAPTER 4: Taking Charge of Our Inner Circle: Safety with Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Babysitters.

PART II How Organizations Can Earn Our Trust

CHAPTER 5: Worthy of Trust: What Youth-serving Organizations Must Do to Protect Kids from Harm
CHAPTER 6: Kids Learn Best When They Feel Safe: Tools for Schools
CHAPTER 7: The JOY of the Game: Reclaiming Youth Sports
CHAPTER 8: Spiritual Safety: Places of Worship Should Be Safe for Kids
CHAPTER 9: Colleges: A Safe Place to Spread Their Wings.

PART III Creating Safer Societies

CHAPTER 10: Overcoming Harmful Prejudice with
Understanding, Determination and Courage
CHAPTER 11: Giving Our Kids a Better World to Live In

BONUS TOOLKIT: Kidpower Skills and Action Plans

• 10 Core Kidpower People Safety Skills
• Preparing Children for More Independence:6 Steps from Kidpower
• Make SURE! Kidpower Action Plan for School and Organization Leaders
• My Child is Being Bullied at School! Action Plan for Parents & Guardians
• How to Prevent and Stop Cyberbullying
• How to Pick a Good Self-Defense Program


Safety Checkup

The end of each chapter features an important Safety Checkup


From the Foreword, by Dan Heath

Jerry Sandusky. Bill Cosby. Harvey Weinstein. Larry Nassar. The Catholic Church and its seemingly unending sexual abuse scandals and cover-ups. We live in an era of spiraling outrage.

At first, we were outraged by the anomalies: How could a coach like Sandusky get away with such evil acts in the midst of an athletic program that prided itself on leadership and integrity? Later, with the birth of the #MeToo movement, we were outraged by the ubiquity of harassment. How could we have allowed so much abuse to happen for so long?

The book you’re reading, Doing Right by Our Kids, is a stake in the ground. Its message is: No more. The people who read this book and follow its principles will help build a world in which we don’t just expose abuses after they happen, but stamp them out beforehand. Not just from sexual abuse, but from bullying, hazing, and negligent treatment.

“The safety and self-esteem of a child are more important than anyone’s embarrassment, inconvenience, or offense.” That’s the founding principle of Kidpower®, the child-safety organization run by one of this book’s coauthors, Irene van der Zande. It’s a simple and even inarguable statement, but living up to it requires courage. The courage to speak up. The courage to ask a difficult question. The courage to interrupt a problematic scene. This book is a call to be more courageous....


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