Safe Space Monitoring Tools + Guidelines

Participant Use, Program Evaluation, Program Planning, Staff/Volunteer Use on February 6th, 2010 Comments Off on Safe Space Monitoring Tools + Guidelines


The Safe Space Monitoring Tool aims to capture the level of safety of the program environment from an external point of view. Used in conjunction with the Safe Space Guidelines the tools aim to optimise the safety level of a program.

Further Details

The idea behind the Safe Space Monitoring Tool is to capture the level of safety of the environment from an external point of view. This survey is to be completed by the program facilitator/coordinator and volunteers/peer supporters.

The Safe Space Participant Survey Tool aims to obtain information about the level of safety perceived from participants’ point of view.

The Safe Space Guidelines aim to assist program coordinators in developing and maintaining a physically and psychologically safe environment for all participants. To facilitate improvement in selected program areas the guidelines are clustered into the following eight dimensions that have been identified to contribute to creating and maintaining a safe space for young people: physically safe environment, psychological and emotional safety/refuge, boundary management, ethical practice, behaviour management processes, nature of participants, staff and volunteers.

Generally, if the answers ‘Always’ or ‘Most of the time’ are selected in the Safe Space Monitoring Tool and Safe Space Participant Survey, this will indicate a positive and safe environment is currently being maintained within the program. (However, it may be that in certain situations selecting ‘Occasionally’ or ‘Never’ does not necessarily imply that any action is required in order to change something. For example, staff and/or volunteers may not be observed to constantly enforce positive group norms and rules as participants are contributing to uphold these by themselves.)

Based on the obtained results from the Safe Space Monitoring Tool and/or the Safe Space Participant Survey the program coordinator then has to make a decision whether they need to be acted upon.

After the survey has been administered to participants, the frequency of responses for each item are counted and summarised. A majority of negative answers will more likely indicate the lack of an important factor that contributes to creating a safe space and that action to improve the situation is required. However, it is important to be aware of that if negative answers are reported by single participants only, this may still implicate that action is required.

If program areas are identified as areas that need improvement in the Safe Space Monitoring Tool, the last column cross-references to the relevant sections of the Safe Space Guidelines for possible resolution strategies.

Read more about Creating a Safe Space.

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