It takes a community to promote child safety and prevent child abuse….it also takes a community to allow it.

The Chabad community has for years been determined to bury its head in the belief that the problems if ignored will disappear. In recent years the victims, mental health professionals, community organizations and others have raised the issue more frequently and openly. While acknowledgement and awareness are essential in the provision of our children’s safety, they are only effective if they are combined with one further ingredient…. Education.

The issue of child safety, has been one in which the Merkos Chinuch Office has taken the lead for more than a decade. The Merkos Chinuch Office researched and published the first comprehensive Child-Safety guidelines in 2002; ultimately adapted by many educational agencies.

 Most recently the issue of keeping children safe from predators and abuse has been brought to the fore and the Merkos Chinuch Office embarked upon a child safety initiative. The first focus was on the Crown Heights community. A cadre of parents was trained to meet with children in every classroom in all the Crown Heights educational institutions and with the teaching staff of all children from Kindergarten through third grade. This year the program was extended to the 4th grade in many schools. More than 5,000 children were trained in the “Safety Kid” program.

A number of other communities have initiated a Safety Kid program, including: Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Schools may contact Safety Kid directly or the Chinuch Office to find out more.