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Writing policies

Writer's Block

There is something very intimidating about putting pen to paper, and many programs have been avoiding it for a long time. Some programs prefer not to keep written records of what they are doing because they fear it won't be approved by their board of directors or that parents will be upset. This sort of "don't ask first, apologize later" thinking, however, leads to inconsistency, lack of accountability, and an unsupportive environment for both youth and staff. 

At this point in the process you should have engaged your staff, young people, and community members. You have prioritized what policies you want to work on, developed an idea for this new policy based on your mission and goals, and come up with a feasible action plan. Now you just need to write!

This section will provide you with tools and examples to help you write clear policies. A template to help you hit all of the main elements of your policy, a BE SAFE policy example, eight guiding principles for policy development, a glossary of common terms to use in policies, and sample policies collected from other youth-serving organizations around the country. 

Do you have a great policy that you think could be helpful to other youth organizations? Share it here.