Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS)

About This Program

Target Population: Children in grades prekindergarten to 12 (ages 4-18)

For children/adolescents ages: 4 – 18

Program Overview

Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe is a school-based curriculum that helps children in grades Pre-K to 12 learn skills to prevent or interrupt cycles of neglect, bullying, and child abuse—physical, emotional, and sexual—through developmentally appropriate lessons. The program uses an ecological approach, providing materials to engage parents and caregivers, teachers, school administrators, and community stakeholders. It increases children's ability to recognize unsafe situations or abusive behaviors and helps them build resistance skills and a responsive safety network with peers and safe adults. Program facilitators receive training and tools to deliver the lessons with fidelity.

Program Goals

The goals of Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe are:

  • Learn safety skills to help prevent or interrupt child abuse in all its form, including physical, emotional, sexual, bullying, neglect, and online abuse.
  • Learn how to advocate for oneself to prevent or interrupt various forms of abuse.

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS).

Essential Components

The essential components of Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) are:

  • Since abused children can become abusive adults and suffer many other repercussions of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the ultimate goal of CHSUBS is to break the cycle of abuse.
  • CHSUBS was developed for two 30- to 45-minute sessions at each grade level (grades Pre-K through 12), to be facilitated with groups of approximately 25 to 30 students.
  • Designed to teach youth safety principles, the program provides them with the skills to prevent and interrupt all forms of child abuse, neglect, bullying, and cyberbullying as well as to increase their knowledge to reinforce personal safety behaviors and habits.
  • Students learn age-appropriate definitions and participate in class/virtual activities, to distinguish between safe and unsafe situations and cultivate universal strategies to prevent victimization and foster self-protective skills.
  • Online facilitator training on how to deliver the CHSUBS lessons.
  • Facilitator guides provide preparation checklist and question prompts for discussions and activities.
  • CHSUBS facilitators become knowledgeable about the curriculum content and advocate for student safety.
  • Lessons at all grade levels are aligned to the Common Core Standards and the content is aligned with defined developmental characteristics of students at each grade level.
  • Culturally responsive scripts and illustrations in classroom presentations reflect diversity, and activities assure resonance with diverse student populations.
  • Student activities are relevant to lesson content and developmentally engaging.
  • Activities for parents aim to engage them with their children in teaching the CHSUBS Safety Rules and the RESIST strategies.
  • Adult skill building through CHSUBS ecological approach engages parents, teachers, facilitators, schools, and community organizations to protect children from child abuse by making them aware they are responsible for child safety.
  • The lessons and the take-home materials for parents are available in English and Spanish.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Neglect, bullying, child abuse (e.g., physical, emotional, or sexual)
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Materials are sent home to parents/caregivers about the program. The Childhelp® National Child Abuse Prevention Hotline is also available as source of support and information for children, adults, and educators.

Recommended Intensity:

Two lessons, ranging from 30 minutes each in primary grades to 45 minutes each in middle and high school grades, are designed to be presented several weeks apart.

Recommended Duration:

One set of lessons in each grade level per school year

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Daily Living Setting
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)
  • Virtual (Online, Telephone, Video, Zoom, etc.)


This program does not include a homework component.


Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Ideally, a computer/projector/screen to display the classroom presentation that accompanies the lesson, but lessons can be presented completely without use of technology if necessary. There is also a resource available for facilitators to adapt lessons to a virtual classroom environment.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Ideal facilitators are those experienced in working with children, but anyone may complete the facilitator training.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Citation information for the facilitator modules was not provided by the program contact.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Online at facilitator's own pace.

Number of days/hours:

Administrators can access but do not need to complete training. All facilitators need to complete training for the specific grade levels they will teach: 3 Universal Modules and at least 1 grade level = 2 hours per training

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) as listed below:

Formal support provided is flexible and based on need:

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) as listed below:

In the training on the CHSUBS platform, fidelity measures are enumerated and self-report checklists are provided for facilitators.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) as listed below:

The facilitator guides provided also serve as implementation manuals, with checklists, schedules, and suggested program implementations. In addition, CHSUBS recently added a guide for implementation of lessons in the virtual classroom, meant for facilitators already familiar with the program and now needing to adapt to the online environment; a review version is available here:

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS).

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Safety

Diaz, M. J., Moreland, D., & Wolfersteig, W. (2021). Assessing the effects of Childhelp's Speak Up Be Safe child abuse prevention curriculum for high school students. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 14, 425–432.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 887


  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were students in 9th to 12th grade.

Location/Institution: High school district that covers two growing cities in the Southwest

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) child abuse prevention curriculum for high school students and address a gap in evidence-based child maltreatment prevention programs. Three high schools were randomly assigned to the CHSUBS curriculum or the control group. Measures utilized include study developed measures which collected demographic, child maltreatment, and a resistance strategy items survey (Run, Escape, Scream, Ignore, and Stay Away). Results indicate that there were positive significant results indicating that child maltreatment knowledge and resistance skills were significantly different from pre-to-post for the CHSUBS group and showed no significant control group changes. Limitations include barriers resulting from COVID-19 school closures and remote learning; the small number of returned follow-up surveys was less than ideal for analysis; one of the two control schools dropped out due to COVID-19 complications thus, although the follow-up was completed, results are not reported; reliance on the self-reported data from youth taught by different high school teachers; and amount of time between pre- and post-surveys for the implementation group was less than ideal.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 6 months (results are not reported although follow-up was completed).

Wolfersteig, W., Diaz, M. J., & Moreland, D. (2022). Empowering elementary and middle school youth to speak up and be safe: advancing prevention of child maltreatment with a universal school-based curriculum. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(19), Article 11856.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 2,797


  • Age — 5–13 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — 1,411 Female, 1,386 Male
  • Status — Participants were students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade from 13 schools.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe (CHSUBS) curriculum with students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Participant schools were randomly assigned to either the CHSUBS or control condition. Measures utilized include the Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level score. Results indicate that the CHSUBS group had significantly higher scores at follow-up than the students in the control group. Limitations include the results relied on self-reported data from elementary and middle school students; the researchers could have conducted, or could as future research conduct, a qualitative follow-up component such as focus groups with youth to help measure the specific knowledge and skills they acquired from these lessons; the pilot study before the randomized controlled trial did not receive survey responses for grade 7, which resulted in a lack of feedback on the curriculum and survey measures for that grade and may have contributed to the lack of significant findings for that grade level; and length of follow-up.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Additional References

Daily Telegram Staff. (2019, November 5). New safety program introduced. Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Gilger, L., & Goldstein, S. (2019, August 27). Arizona lawmaker, counselor: education key to stopping child sex abuse. KJZZ 91.5 FM.

News Staff, NBC Palm Springs. (2019, April 30). NBCares: Speak Up, Be Safe with Childhelp.

Contact Information

Zuzana Urbanek, MA
Title: Curriculum Manager
Agency/Affiliation: Childhelp
Phone: (800) 790-2445
Michael Fulcher, MBA
Title: Sales Director
Phone: (800) 790-2445

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: September 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2021