About Safe and Caring Schools & Communities

Safe and Caring Schools & Communities has been operating since 1996 to promote practices that support healthy relationships. Our organization has a vision that every school and community will be a safe, caring, and inclusive environment for every child and youth in Alberta. One of the programs that is being offered to support the efforts in achieving this vision is the Safe and Caring Connections program. 

Safe and Caring Connections

Safe and Caring Connections is a program that is designed for youth aged 12-17 who are experiencing challenges in the communicating and responding to conflict. The program provides participants with an opportunity to develop skills to improve their communication, increase emotions management and reduce aggressive behaviours. The participants will learn skills that will help them to develop and maintain positive connections with themselves, other and their community. 

Safe and Caring Connections – Aggresion Replacement Training® is a 10-week program with three components:

  • Social Skills:

    Participants will learn skills usch as how to express emotions, deal with fear, and respond to failure.

  • Anger Control Skills

    Participants will learn how to recognize when they are feeling angry and strategies they can use to help manage their anger

  • Values:

    Participants will discuss values such as friendship, fmaily, and loyalty to increase their understanding of fairness, justice, and the needs and rights of others.

Youth are encouraged to practice their new skills with teachers, peers, elders, community members, and guardians, so be prepared to encourage and acknowledge their efforts! The skills they learn in the training will only be useful if the youth use them outside of the classroom in their personal lives, which will take practice before it becomes natural. We all know that it takes a village to raise a child, so we need to work together to encourage the skill development beyond the classroom if we want to see lifelong change.

A celebration of learning ceremony will be held at the end of the training to honour the youth in their successful completion of the program. Community leaders, parents, school staff, Safe and Caring Schools & Communities staff, and mentors are invited to attend this ceremony to join us in celebrating the youth.

In addition to the classroom training, there will be planned mentorship activities in the school and community to provide opportunities for the youth to further practice their skills outside of the classroom and help them develop a greater sense of connection to their community. These activities will involve opportunities for cultural connection while promoting responsibility and accountability.

Every week, students will participate in an interactive session with discussions about values such as friendship, family and loyalty to increase their understanding of fairness, justice and the needs and rights of others.

They will also go over the following weekly schedule:

Social Skills: 

Making a Complaint

Anger Control Skills:

ABCs of Anger

Social Skills:

Understanding the Feelings of Others

Anger Control Skills:

Hassle Logs and Triggers

Social Skills

Getting Ready for a Difficult Conversation

Anger Control Skills

Cues and Anger Reducers

Social Skills:

Dealing With Someone Else’s Anger

Anger Control Skills:

Reminders

Social Skills: 

Helping Others

Anger Control Skills: 

Thinking Ahead

Social Skills:

Keeping Out of Fights

Anger Control Skills: 

Self-Evaluation

Social Skills: 

Dealing with Accusation

Anger Control Skills: 

Angry Behaviour Cycle

Social Skills:

Dealing With Group Pressure

Anger Control Skills: 

Using a Social Skill and Rehearsal of Full Anger Control Chain

Social Skills:

Expressing Affection

Anger Control Skills:

Rehearsal of Full Anger Control Chain

Social Skills:

Responding to Failure

Anger Control Skills: 

Overall Review of Rehearsal of Full Anger Control Chain


Safe and Caring Connections is not a “quick fix” program and will not solve all of the behaviour issues at school or in the community. 

Safe and Caring Connections is an opportunity for youth to learn skills to help them improve communication and increase their understanding of themselves and others. This learning and skills training will help youth to have better connections with family, teachers and peers. The training requires practice both inside and outside of the classroom, and it will take time.

Get involved!

We invite you to participate and get to know the youth in the program. You can help by participating in our mentorship activities, attending classroom training, attending the celebrations and by joining our Safe and Caring Connections Steering Committee. The Safe and Caring Connections program is about improving connections, and a huge part of that includes improving connections with community. If the youth are supported, encouraged and connected with their community, the chances of their success are much greater.

What is a Steering Committee?

The Safe and Caring Connections project has a Community Steering Committee comprised of elders, community leaders, role models, local law enforcement, school administration, parents and other community agencies to support the program. We meet with our steering committee to discuss the program and how we can better support the youth involved.

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