The Evidence Portal

Fostering a safe and supportive space

Flexible activity

This activity allows for engagement with, and between, program participants in a nurturing environment that promotes meaningful interactions and allows for self-expression and exploration of self. It is important that young program participants feel safe and supported when partaking in program activities. This is especially the case for programs with a Self-concept, self-efficacy and confidence core component as activities within this component can address private or emotionally distressing subject matters.

Fostering a safe and supportive space will allow for exploration of self, meaningful interaction with others within the program, and articulation of thoughts and feelings.

How can it be implemented?

Fostering a safe and supportive space can be achieved by:

  • Establishing guidelines for appropriate communication and conduct during program activities,
  • Providing time for unstructured activities that allows program participants to freely interact with one another,
  • Time allocated to building rapport between program participant and facilitator, and
  • Private and quiet program locations where activities such as creative expression or scenario-based learning are unlikely to be interrupted.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • Ethnically diverse students aged 11-14 living in low socioeconomic public housing neighbourhoods
  • 18-19 year-old college students
  • Smokers aged 19-29
  • Students aged 14-20

What programs conduct this activity?

  • In the Art from Ashes Phoenix Rising Poetry Workshops, youth were encouraged to be respectful and supportive of one another and the facilitators fostered a safe forum for expression and group cohesion.
  • In Just Breathe, the learning process occurs in a supportive, group environment.
  • In the Motivational Interviewing via Co-Active Life Coaching (MI-via-CALC), coaching relationships are fostered by designing an alliance and considering how the coach/participation relationship will work.
  • The No program name: yoga intervention is delivered in a safe and non-competitive environment.

Further resources

Last updated:

24 Nov 2022

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