This is the instructor's guide for the Safe Routes Program, which guides Native-American children in identifying a place where they can be safe and the route for getting to that place when they feel unsafe in their own home.
The development of this program was spurred by data that show just over 7,700 Native-American children are listed as missing in the United States, and Native-American children are at high risk of living in communities with high rates of poverty, drug abuse, suicide, victimization, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Given these risks for such children, the Safe Routes Program teaches them to identify a safe place within walking distance of their home and plan a route for getting to that place. Younger youth are taught to draw a picture that begins with their home and then the identification of a place near their home where they could quickly walk when they feel unsafe in their home. A major feature of the instruction is detailed planning of the route the child will take to the safe place. Children are guided to identify who lives at the safe place and markers along the route they will walk to the safe place, such as buildings and other memorable sights on the route. Children are also asked to select a trusted adult they could call in an emergency; ideally, this would be an adult at the safe location. Such a call would be appropriate just before the child plans to leave home on the safe route. This guide provides instructors with materials the children will use in completing the aforementioned tasks. The instructor is provided with options for modifying the instruction in various ways to meet the needs of the particular participants. 3 resource listings