News & Perspectives

News & Perspectives

School Reporting Protocol: Preventing Child Abuse and Creating Safe Environments


The Children’s Trust recently released the fourth edition of Steps Toward Child Abuse Prevention & Creating Safe School Environments: A How-to Manual for Massachusetts Educators.

This edition of “Steps Toward Child Abuse Prevention & Creating Safe School Environments” is grounded in evidence-based and evidence-informed advancements in the field of child protection from the last edition (2016) to the present. The manual was informed by superintendents, district personnel, principals, school counselors, nurses, teachers, physical education staff, and volunteers across the Commonwealth who work with children in school settings. 

The primary needs identified by these conversations were for updated knowledge on current best practices in prevention as well as the latest information, guidance, training, and tools that educators could use to ensure schools are safe environments.

The Manual includes updated: 

  • Incidence and prevalence statistics; updated references and resources on primary prevention. 
  • an expanded section on recognizing and responding to suspected Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
  • A new section with multiple resources on understanding and responding to children and youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB).
  • Extensive links to the free tools and resources on a new website dedicated to primary prevention called Safe Kids Thrive (SKT). 

Read the newest edition right here using this link.