Safe and Caring Connections
Safe and Caring Connections is a program that is designed for youth aged 12-17 who are experiencing challenges in 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 behaviors. The participants will learn skills that will help them to develop and maintain positive connections with themselves, others and their community.
Safe and Caring Connections – Aggression Replacement Training® is a 10-week program with three components:
Participants will learn skills such 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
Participants will discuss values such as friendship, family, 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:
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.
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.