Department of Family Services – Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

703-324-7500
TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,
Director

Body Safety Program

adult reading book to childrenThe Body Safety Program is taught FREE of charge in elementary schools, child care centers, community centers and other group settings for children in Pre-K to sixth grade. It is a school-based program that focuses on building safety skills within the child, preparing them to identify risks such as:

  • Child abuse.
  • Bullying.
  • Internet safety.

The curriculum, Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe, gives children a comfortable, non-alarming way to talk about the sensitive and complex problem of child abuse:

  • Children learn how to prevent or interrupt abuse, empowering them to act if they are threatened or victimized.
  • Trained facilitators lead the interactive presentation which takes about two hours including an age appropriate video.
  • Handouts and online resources reinforce learning and engage families in discussion about personal safety and abuse.

5 Key body Safety Rules Children Will Learn graphic: It's My Body; Ask an Adult if I'm Safe; I have Choices; Tell someone; It's NEVER My Fault


The Body Safety Program Offers Virtual Classes

The Body Safety Program is now offering virtual classes to any Pre-K through sixth grade students living in Fairfax County. If you are interested in learning more about or scheduling a virtual class(es), contact Francesca Watson by email, call 703-324-7459, or you can submit a referral.   

Virtual Classes

  • Available virtually via a preferred platform.
  • Shorter sessions (30 minutes-1 hour).
  • Emphasis on online safety.
  • Include an interactive component via chat or video chime in from students.

About the Curriculum

Beech Tree Elementary School students learningThe curriculum, Childhelp® Speak Up Be Safe, focuses on enhancing the child’s overall sense of confidence with regard to safety and promotes respect for self and peers that can be applied to general as well as potentially harmful situations.

The overarching goal with this curriculum is always to provide children with the skills to identify and be able to approach a safe adult should they ever be in a situation in which they are unsure if they are safe.

The curriculum used in Fairfax County features modules for children in Pre-K to sixth grade. Information in the presentation is tailored to meet children where they are developmentally. Learn more about the curriculum focus at each stage of development.

  • To request this program for your school, center or group gathering, contact Francesca Watson by email or call 703-324-7459. 
  • To find out more about volunteering to facilitate Body Safety classes for children, contact Francesca Watson by email or call 703-324-7459. 

Testimonials

“This is a great reminder and vivid instruction of real life situations.” - Elementary School Special Education Teacher

“This [was] probably the most important lesson the students have learned this year.” - Vice Principal

“The facilitator was very patient and encouraging to the students.” - Second Grade Teacher

“It was an excellent presentation! Thank you for volunteering your patience, time and presence during your visit to our school." - Sixth Grade Teacher


Beech Tree Elementary SchoolLearn about Beech Tree Elementary's successful experience hosting the first Body Safety class with 160 participating students from (grades K-2).

How Do I Bring This to My School or Organization?

facilitator and children in classroomThe Body Safety Program is available free of cost to elementary schools, child care centers, community centers and other group settings in Fairfax County. If you are interested in learning more about this program, contact Francesca Watson by email or call 703-324-7459. 

We would be happy to:

  • Send a preview of the curriculum and supporting materials.
  • Talk with you about the process of bringing the program to your school.
  • Schedule a meeting and provide a presentation about the program to administrators, social workers, counselors, teachers and/or parents.
  • Share feedback from other schools that have hosted the program.

“Speak Up; Be Safe” During Child Abuse Awareness Month

Check out this Healthy Minds podcast with Francesca Watson, Dept. of Family Services’ Body Safety Program Coordinator, and Lori Harkin Huse, LCSW, London Towne Elementary School as they discuss how adults can engage in important conversations with children about body safety. Find out about boundaries, choices, big feelings, mandatory reporting, the impacts of trauma, and adverse childhood experiences during this powerful podcast. 


The Body Safety Program is part of the Volunteer Partner Services Program within the Fairfax County Department of Family Services Children, Youth and Families Division. Learn more about Volunteer Partner Services Program.


The Fairfax County community centers recognize the need to offer classes to help keep children safe. Learn more about what our partners appreciate about the Body Safety Program.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant