Creating a group culture and a safe space

For staff and volunteers supporting young people through the ReachOut 2.0 activities or project through this toolkit here are some things to think about when engaging with young people and to support their wellbeing and safety here is some essential information:

Safety and Space

When working with young people who experience social isolation or loneliness, we must consider other young people in the space. Here are some suggestions on creating a safe space to build trust and create conversation: 

  • 2 staffs - one for deliver and one for pastoral support 
  • Ensure the space reflects the needs of the young people and the delivery of the session – i.e., calm, physically safe, neutral in space. 
  • Support inclusion and diverse groups of the group. 
  • Ensure that young people are aware of what will happen in the session at the beginning or beforehand to prepare them.  
  • Staff and young people to consider potential triggers. 
  • Staff and young people set an agreed group agreement / group work culture.  
  • And what they can do to get support or leave the situation if they feel uncomfortable or upset.  
  • Given enough time for the sessions and to build relationships between young people and professionals. 

It is recommended to agree on a way of communicating that you or a young person needs time out of the session and not just going for a toilet break– this could be the universal sign for help hand signals below:  

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Medical Emergency and support:   

  • NHS Wales /111 Wales for non-medical emergencies  
  • Emergency Services 999 

 

When to report safeguarding concerns?   

Safeguarding: More information on the protection of children and young people can be found via:  Child protection system for Wales | NSPCC Learning. 

For Wales, safeguarding procedures: Social care Wales (safeguarding.wales) This can also be downloaded to a mobile or tablet device as an app to be available when you need it. 

 All laws in Wales and UK are subject to change. The information, activities, and guidance should not be considered as legal advice, and please follow the procedures of your organisation, local authority and safeguarding board contact details can be found here: Regional Safeguarding Boards.