Safety and Security for Children Overseas

Alert Overseas Kids Program logoThe A-OK Program*

Awareness is one of the best defenses against terrorism and espionage. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security places a high priority on efforts to raise the level of security awareness among the Foreign Service and Americans living and visiting overseas. The A-OK Program, Alert Overseas Kids, provides security and safety information to American children living overseas. The program was designed in 1986 for the children of people working abroad at U.S. missions and those children of the overseas American business community. A-OK covers security at home, on the street, and in school. A-OK goals are to:


•  teach children safety and security strategies and techniques that really work;

•  build children's confidence and self-reliance so they can act correctly in an emergency; and

•  equip children with the knowledge and skills they need in order to recognize, avoid, and where necessary, report safety and security threats.


Security and safety awareness is taught regularly in U.S. schools and young children in America are exposed to safety information through public television. However American children living overseas do not have access to the same information. We offer this security awareness program to teach children basic security rules, with special emphasis on foreign environments and local threats. We know that when we teach safety messages to children, they pass them on to their parents and set an example for the entire family.


A-OK materials are provided to a mission's or post's A-OK program coordinator who tailors the program to the local environment as well as to meet the particular needs of different age groups. A-OK materials cover such topics as:


•  Home alone safety

•  After-school and emergency safety

•  Bicycle and street safety

•  Fire safety

•  Messages in the media

•  Drugs, inhalants, smoking, tobacco

•  Sexual and child physical abuse


An annual worldwide contest encourages overseas American children to create their own safety and security messages. For more information on the A-OK Program, email us: 


or write:


DS Public Affairs

Bureau of Diplomatic Security

U.S. Department of State

Washington , DC 20522-2008


*The A-OK logo was designed by John Kim, who at the time was an 11-year-old American living in Seoul.