Child Protection General Information

The Office of Overseas Schools of the United States Department of State is committed to helping to provide a safe learning environment for all students in international schools. For the last decade the office has worked to expand guidance and active child protection efforts through our relationships with other international educational entities, school accreditation agencies, and law enforcement agents from the United States and abroad. The Office of Overseas Schools knows that these efforts must be continuous and ongoing to safeguard children who attend schools around the world. The office also recognizes that students themselves need support in understanding how to have healthy self-concepts, emotional strength, and resiliency.

Child Protection Resources

The Office of Overseas Schools, in partnership with four additional international education groups, founded the International Task Force on Child Protection in 2015. The Task Force worked with volunteers in international schools and other international agencies to gather best practices and agreed upon Child Protection standards that would help schools institute operational policies and practices for the selection, employment, and training of educators.

Safety and Security

The Emergency Management Handbook was first published by the Central and Eastern European Association (CEESA) in 1998 through a grant from the Overseas Schools Advisory Council (OSAC). Its most recent redesign was completed in 2013.

Social Emotional Learning

Overseas Schools Advisory Council (OSAC) partnered with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)  to promote the use of Social Emotional Learning in assisted schools around the world. CASEL has presented seminars to assisted schools on the benefits and methods of effective implementation of social-emotional learning (SEL) and will continue to do so.

  • Social Emotional Learning and Child Self-Protection (SELCSP) Standards and Benchmarks for International Schools [623 KB]  In 2023, through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) worked to develop these Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Child Self-Protection (CSP) curriculum standards and benchmarks. The goal in creating these standards is to offer concrete guidance to international schools to enhance student well-being and protective support through teaching a structured curriculum that implements these standards.
  • Schoolwide SEL in an International Setting – With funding from the Office of Overseas Schools, CASEL has tailored their time tested approach to an international audience with several resources for international schools.

Child Mental Health Resources

Davis, P., Headley, K., Bazemore, T., Cervo, J., Sickinger, P., Winfham, M., & Rehfuss, M. (2010). Evaluating impact of transition seminars on missionary kids’ depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 38, 186-194.

Dixon, P., & Hayden, M. (2008). “On the move”: Primary age children in transition. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38, 483-496.

Gilbert, K. R. (2008). Loss and grief between and among cultures: The experience of third culture kids. Illness, crisis and loss, 16, 93-109.

Lyttle, A. D., Baker, G. G., Cornwell, T. L. (2011). Adept through adaptation: Third culture individuals’ interpersonal sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 686-694.

Inman, A., Ngoubene-Atioky, A., Ladany, N., & Mack, T. (2009). School counselors in international schools: Critical issues and challenges. International Journal of Advanced Counselling, 31, 80-99.

Nathanson, J. Z., & Marcenko, M. (1995). Young adolescents’ adjustment to the experience of relocating overseas. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 19, 413-424.

Schuarzberg, C., & Parenteau, S. (2004). The impact of moves on international school students: A transition study in Argentina. International School Journal, 24, 33-40.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Resources

The Office of Overseas Schools, in collaboration with the Association of International Schools in Africa  (AISA), have begun a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Symposium and comprehensive DEIJ Guide for educators and administrators who are committed to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments for all students. This guide is the result of over a year of work and collaboration between educators from around the world. This Office of Overseas Schools funded project is intended to serve international schools around the world but has a focus on Africa.

U.S. Department of State

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