How well do you really know your babysitter?

Years ago prior to having a child I was a psychotherapist to women who had been physically and sexually abused. As they say sometimes things happen for a reason and it may take years to figure that reason out. My reason happened after I had my son and was a stay at home mom for 3 ½ years. I had just had my 5th miscarriage and my husband called our babysitter, who we had been using since our son was 6 months old, and asked her to come watch our preschooler because we really needed a night out. She was a big part of our family and knew about our fertility issues and agreed.

Her credentials – 24yr old, certified swim instructor, part time preschool teacher and nursing student at night…how many of you would hire someone with that background to watch your child? But I digress……She came to watch our son – but did not watch him properly and he walked out the front door (rules: door locked, alarm on) down and across a few streets before being found by a stranger. My son was crying and the man (stranger) asked why he was crying and walking by himself. My son said he was looking for his babysitter – the man asked where do you live. My son knew his street name and told the man … and the man said –get in my car and I will drive around until we find your house…Yes, my son got into the car with the stranger and thankfully he was a good person and drove around until my son pointed at our house and was home…safe and sound.

To this day I do NOT know where my babysitter was but I can tell you that it changed mine and my husband’s life forever! We are extremely lucky…many stories like this do not have the happy ending we did –and this put me on a mission to teaching children, parents and teachers real world life skills to help keep children safe.

I was lucky enough to meet my now business partner, Cherie Benjoseph, a licensed clinical social worker with a background in prevention education and together we wrote our KidSafe 8 week curriculum for pre k-4 – 5th grade. We travel to schools and teach our programs and offer seminars to Parents and workshops to teachers. Our philosophy is that every child, every parent and every teacher needs prevention education and we owe it to our children to give them the necessary skills to help keep them safe.

The skills we teach are skills for a lifetime…they are skills to help prevent against sexual exploitation and abduction of children and they are also skills to help keep our children safe on the internet – bullying and general life.So as I ponder how I, a teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education and a psychotherapist with a Masters in Counseling Psychology, but most importantly a wife and a mom came to be where I am today – it is no wonder I found my mission to educate children to help keep them safe. My circle makes sense – every child I teach…every child I look at….I want to make sure that they will never endure the horror and abuse that the women I treated years ago did. My goal is to make a difference in a child’s life. I understand now, that I am blessed to have one amazing son…and all the kids I teach are my other children. For more parenting tips – go to parenting tip on our site.

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

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