Sally Berenzweig & KidSafe Foundation - a Florida based 501c3 nonprofit
Why I am passionate about keeping children safe!

Introduction: My name is Sally Berenzweig and I am married to the love of my life and a mom to one amazing 9 year old son and 11 month old puppy. I have my Masters in Elementary Education and a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Presently I am a Cofounder of a 501c3 nonprofit KidSafe Foundation, Child Safety Expert and Author.

Background: From as far back as I can remember I was always the peace maker in the family and the go to person for my friends with their problems. I have always had an innate ability to see both sides of a situation which would serve me well as I became a psychotherapist after graduating from my Master’s programs.

My aunt was a famous writer Laurie Colwin and her gifts to me growing up were always journals or “good” books as she would call them as she did not like us to read trash. Thinking back to junior high and high school I was always writing poems about what was going on in my of 4 girls, my parent’s divorce when I was 7, Both parents remarrying and additional sisters and one brother added to family mix. Seven girls on one side of the family now, six girls and one brother on the other side.

Through a lot of family turmoil I always spoke my mind (either out loud our though my writing) I was not much of a student, more concerned with being social and having fun and looking back I wish I had put more efforts into schooling as I did in graduate school. A turning point for me..One of my friends in High School confided in me that he was being sexually abused by a family member. We would spend many hours talking and discussing and I always tried to be there for him..Not knowing that this would serve me well later in life.

After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Arts, I worked full time during the day and took graduate courses at night for my Masters in Elementary Education. While at the end of the program I realized that I was not interested in teaching a child math/science etc but more interested in why they would be having a hard time concentrating in class, and what was going on at home?

I went to my advisor who was wonderful and really listened to me. He said you should start a Master’s in counseling – but insisted I finish the one I started. This was great advice and soon I started a dual Masters in Counseling Psychology. When it came time to do a practicum I worked at a Psychiatric Hospital for one day with children and I could not take it, I cried the whole way home from my long day...I couldn’t stand the thought of these children in pain. I asked to change my practicum to work with adults and worked with women who had been physically and sexually abused. Some of the stories I heard these brave women share still haunt me to this day. I moved to Florida, Atlanta. New Jersey and back to Florida, having other professions along the way, Counselor, Director of Wellness Program, Recruiter until I met my husband and had the greatest job of Wife and Mom!


Professional issue: I became a mom at 34 and really didn’t know if I would be a stay at home mom, when 9/11 happened. This changed my focus as my son was just five months old. I worried about what kind of world I had just brought him into and realized I wanted to stay home with him (and never let him go. I was lucky my husband had a job he loved, that afforded me the opportunity to be a “stay at home mom”. Until my son was almost four years old when our life as we saw it..Knew it and lived it would be changed forever.

Personal issue: When my son was almost two, my husband and I tried again for baby number two...we got pregnant right away only to miscarry soon after. Four more times....Four more pregnancies..Four more miscarriages. Heartbreak, depression and many doctor’s but no answers.

After miscarriage number 5, my husband called our babysitter (her credentials, 24yrs old, certified swim instructor, part time preschool teacher, nursing student at night) and asked her to watch our son. She came to watch our son, but did not watch him properly and he walked out the front door, down and across a few streets before being found by a stranger. My son was crying and the man (stranger) asked why he was crying and walking by himself. My son said he was looking for his babysitter. The man asked where do you live. My son knew his street name and told the man ... and the man said –get in my car and I will drive around until we find your house...

Yes, my son got into the car with the stranger and thankfully he was a good person and drove around until my son pointed at our house and was and sound.

To this day I do NOT know where my babysitter was but I can tell you that it changed mine and my husband’s life forever!

We are extremely lucky...many stories like this do not have the happy ending we did – and this put me on a mission to teaching children, parents and teachers real world life skills to help keep children safe. I was lucky enough to meet my now business partner, Cherie Benjoseph, a licensed clinical social worker with a background in prevention education and together we wrote our KidSafe 8 week curriculum for pre k-4 5th grade. We travel to schools and teach our programs and offer seminars to Parents and workshops to teachers. Our philosophy is that every child, every parent and every teacher needs prevention education and we owe it to our children to give them the necessary skills to help keep them safe. The skills we teach are skills for a lifetime...they are skills to help prevent against sexual exploitation and abduction of children and they are also skills to help keep our children safe on the internet, bullying and general life.


So as I ponder how I, a teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education and a psychotherapist with a Masters in Counseling Psychology, but most importantly a mom came to be where I am today it is no wonder I found my mission to educate children to help keep them safe. My circle makes sense every child I teach...every child I look at....I want to make sure that they will never endure the horror and abuse like the women I treated years ago did. If I can make a difference in one child’s life...I understand that I was blessed to have one amazing son...and all the kids I teach are my other children.

The old saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” I truly believe. We may not know at the exact time why something is happening, maybe we will never know. But for me...I am a Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Teacher, Counselor, Child Safety Expert, Author, Cofounder of nonprofit KidSafe Foundation and my mission in life is to teach children, parents and teacher to empower them with prevention education to keep all children safe.