Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe follows a community approach that places primary responsibility for child safety with adults. In any community, there are a number of organizations that either serve or come in contact with children and their families. These may include afterschool programs, faith-based organizations, houses of worship, sports teams or leagues, mentoring programs, and neighborhood centers. Because adults have the primary responsibility for keeping children safe, these organizations are uniquely positioned to support the child abuse and neglect and bullying prevention efforts of schools, and to reinforce these messages in the community. Community members can also play key roles in supporting children and families by serving as a broad network of safe adults and by developing a list of local community resources that schools can use to provide needed referrals to families.
Keeping children safe is truly a community-wide effort. Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe provides guidance for community-based organizations that wish to take up the challenge. The effectiveness of the program is enhanced when community members are aware of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect and bullying; are aware of the impact of abuse and neglect on children; and work to reduce risk and build resilience in families and communities. Information is available for community members on the developmental characteristics of the child; and how to handle a child's disclosure of abuse should it occur.