1st Edition

Something Has Happened: Supporting Children’s Right to Feel Safe

By Liz Bates Copyright 2022
    34 Pages 81 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

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    For effective use, this book should be purchased alongside the guidebook- Guide for Safeguarding and Supporting Children’s Right to Feel Safe.  

    Something has happened to Joe. Now he doesn’t feel safe; he feels sick, wants to cry and can’t even concentrate on his computer games.

    This carefully and sensitively written storybook has been created to enable conversations around safeguarding, teaching children about their right to feel safe, and what to do if, like Joe, they ever need help. With colourful and engaging illustrations, the story offers opportunities for discussion throughout, using Joe as a tool to help children understand their difficult feelings, who they can go to for help, and what they can do when it feels like nobody is listening.

    This storybook:

    • Teaches children about the right to feel safe, the safety continuum, networks of support and persistence
    • Offers advice that can be used by children in any situation, from disclosing abuse to talking about smaller worries
    • Can be used with both primary and lower-secondary aged pupils as a whole class, in small groups or in one-to-one sessions

    Designed to be used alongside the professional guidebook, A Practical Resource for Supporting Children’s Right to Feel Safe, this is an essential tool for teachers, support staff and other professionals who want to teach children that being safe from harm is the most important right they have, and that the trusted adults around them will always take action to believe and protect them.

    Something Has Happened


    Liz Bates is an independent education consultant. She supports both primary and secondary schools in all aspects of Emotional Health and Wellbeing, and Safeguarding, including whole school approaches, training staff and delivering talks to parents. Liz is a Protective Behaviours Trainer, a Wellbeing Award Advisor for Optimus and a regular contributor at national conferences.


    "Something Has Happened is a valuable and practical safeguarding resource for all professionals who work with children. It covers key themes about feeling and being safe in a detailed, yet engaging, way. The reading book can be used as a standalone resource with clear language and charming illustration, but when combined with the lesson plans and resources it becomes an even more powerful tool to empower children to recognise their own feelings of safety or otherwise and to act upon those feelings appropriately to safeguard themselves.

    Staff are clearly guided through the lesson plans, with suggestions of appropriate language to use to draw out the main protective behaviours themes and useful photocopiable resources are provided. The fact that we never learn what Joe's "worry" is helps to make the resource universal - it can be used in the curriculum to support children with common worries, through to things that require an "Early Help" approach with other agencies, through to serious disclosures of abuse and neglect. Giving children the language and permission to talk about their worries in this way is both powerful and positive."

    Jo Perrin, Lead Safeguarding Adviser, Services For Education