skip to main content


Children, Youth and Families Programs

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom Very few resources are available to child care givers and youth workers to help them fully understand their reporting requirements and role in preventing child abuse and neglect. Photo by Cole Stivers.

Teaches how to recognize, respond to and report possible child maltreatment, helping protect Nevada’s children and youth


Preventing child abuse and neglect was ranked as the second-highest priority in a “Results of a Mailed Survey: Priorities for Elko County” needs assessment published in 2012. Very few resources are available to child care givers and youth workers to help them fully understand their reporting requirements and role in preventing child abuse and neglect. Child care givers, youth workers and volunteers working with children and youth are mandated by state law to complete training on recognizing and reporting suspected child maltreatment within three months of beginning employment, as well as to report suspicions of child abuse.

Response/What’s Been Done

Extension created the Keeping Kids Safe Program to teach those working with youth or providing child care how to recognize, respond to and report possible child maltreatment to protect children and youth, and help child care providers comply with state regulations. In 2005, Extension developed a curriculum, Kids Deserve a Safe Place to Grow: What child care providers can do about child abuse and neglect, and has taught a training based on it many times.

In 2017, it was taught five times in Elko, Humboldt and Nye counties. Clark County offered it online, reaching 1,588 providers, and also trained 36 early childhood trainers to teach it. Program goals are that participants better understand the four types of child maltreatment; how to recognize maltreatment; how, when, where and what to report when one suspects maltreatment; how to respond when a child discloses abuse; program policies to protect children and staff; and caregivers’ responsibilities and rights related to maltreatment.

Results/Impact and Partners

Since 2013 in Elko County, 184 adults and 26 youth completed the training and showed a significant increase in awareness and confidence in how to recognize, respond to and report child maltreatment. Also since 2013, 804 adults completed in-person trainings in Clark County, and 2,191 completed the online training.

Program impact in Elko, Humboldt and Nye Counties was measured by a 15-question pre- and post-test questionnaire. Participants rated statements 1 to 5, with 1 as No Confidence and 5 as Complete Confidence, or with 1 as Not At All Aware and 5 as Very Aware. Post-test scores for the 59 participants in 2017 ranged from 4.49 to 4.98, and gains over the pre-test ranged from 0.28 to 1.50. Results of the post-program survey show the following scores and improvements compared to the pre-program survey:

  • 4.55, a 47 percent increase in confidence in recognizing indicators of child abuse and/or neglect of a child
  • 4.51, a 54 percent increase in confidence in being able to make a report of suspected child abuse and/or neglect of a child

Some participants’ comments when asked, “How can we improve this training?” included:

  • This presenter is awesome! This was one of the best presenters I’ve seen. Interaction was great.
  • Although the topic of the presentation was no fun, I learned a lot. I was very impressed by your ability to make the presentation not only palatable, but also interesting.

In Clark, participants must get a 100 percent on the final test to pass the online course, and 1,588 did so in 2017.

The community and nonprofit partner, The Children’s Cabinet, continues to see this as a necessary and valued program in Elko County.



Clark County participants educated in 2017


Elko County youth and adults educated since 2013

“Thank you for conducting this training. It is so very important that our volunteers receive accurate knowledge in this area! Your training was excellent! We had some very good discussion going on last night in our room.”

— Sharon Barton, Humboldt County 4-H Program coordinator (Five volunteers and the coordinator attended the training via interactive video.)


  • Elko County - Jill Baker-Tingey, Elko County Extension Educator, 775-738-1721
  • Clark County - Teresa Byington, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Development Specialist, 702-222-3130

Children, Youth and Families Programs

Programs Program Information

4-H Afterschool

All children face risks as they grow and develop, but children who live in low-income housing or are homeless may be at higher risk for participating in risky behaviors. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed the 4-H After School Club (ASC) to teach children basic life skills including math, reading, science, positive communication, goal setting, self-responsibility, decision-making and good nutrition. Youth who have these life skills are less likely to participate in risky behaviors.

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.


University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed Bootstraps, a high-risk youth program that helps teens return to school and/or gain meaningful work.

Calming the Waters: Learning to Manage Western Water Conflict

Conflict has surrounded the Truckee, Carson and Walker River Basins for decades. Key issues include historical use on tribal lands, historical and current water rights, threats to water quality, and wildlife habitat protection. This program teaches youth about Nevada’s water issues and helps them develop the skills needed to address future water conflicts.

Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A Workforce Readiness Program

The Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A workforce readiness program for high school students focused on skill development for workplace and job success. Career Edge helps high school students prepare to get their first "paying" job while working toward their dream job or career. Career Edge provides information and training on interview skills, résumé development, filling out applications, finding job leads and selecting appropriate clothing for the workplace. In addition, many "soft skills" needed in the workplace such as decision-making, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are integrated throughout the program.

Churchill County Community Readiness Network

Nevada communities need rapid access to information during an emergency. In an effort to enhance community preparedness, safety and available resources and by using GPS and GIS mapping, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s 4-H youth and adult leaders in Churchill County are working with community emergency managers to address evacuation and shelter mapping.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Exploring Your True Colors: Building an Effective Team & Team Development Course

Team Development Course

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Fun To Play

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Fun To Play program targets families where, due to the young age, inexperience or limited resources of the parents, young children are placed at-risk for developmental delays and later school difficulties. Fun To Play is a series of weekly infant/child sessions aimed at improving the parenting skills of young parents by increasing the amount of learning activities and interaction they provide their children.

Heart & Shield: Rural Domestic Violence Prevention Program

Young girls making collages with magazine pictures

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton

Nevada State GEAR UP

Partners in Parenting

Partners in Parenting promotes positive parenting and child health and development, thereby preventing child abuse and other poor childhood outcomes.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals

4-H members showing pigs