What about a new staff member? A parent? Youth-serving organizations know that everything from the posters on the walls, to the layout of the furniture, to the interactions between youth and other youth or staff can impact whether or not a young person walks into a space and feels welcomed.
But how can you tell whether or not your program is a safe space for teens to ask questions about the tougher issues in their lives? Questions about sex, drugs, and violence? Assessing your program climate around the BE SAFE issues of sexual health, mental health, substance use, healthy relationships, and sexual violence can feel intimidating. BE SAFE has tried to make it easier by defining of a climate of safety and developing an assessment tool based on that definition. The next step is to assess how your program measures up. To get a comprehensive and accurate assessment, you should ask frontline staff, paid and unpaid, youth, and community members to participate. Engaging everyone intially will also help when it comes time to implement these policies.