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: