Core Components of the Safe2Tell Colorado Strategy
The focus of Safe2Tell Colorado is to make sure that every Colorado student, parent, teacher, and community member has access to a safe and anonymous way to report any concerns about their safety or the safety of others. The following components provide recommendations for schools to implement the Safe2Tell Colorado model, becoming a “Safe2Tell Colorado School.”
1) Education, Outreach and Awareness
Moving beyond providing an anonymous tipline, Safe2Tell Colorado developed complimentary core components to create an effective, overall safety strategy for Colorado schools. Safe2Tell Colorado works to build a culture and climate of respect and a willingness to report among young people. Through partnerships at the local level involving schools, first responders and parents, Safe2Tell Colorado has incorporated education - classroom guided discussions focused on awareness of current and emerging issues facing young people - into the overall prevention model. Addressing the code of silence that exists in our culture, increasing reporting of suspicious situations, mental health concerns, and other behavioral concerns in a way that provides a two-way dialog is critical to effective early intervention and improving the welfare of young people. When necessary, Safe2Tell Colorado provides the methods for schools and law enforcement to assess, treat, investigate and establish a boundary, conduct an assessment, or plan for the monitoring of a threatening situation and behavior. The strategy set by Safe2Tell Colorado produces strong surveillance skills among bystanders; teaching young people and adults what to watch for, what to listen for and what not to ignore. The overarching goal of Safe2Tell Colorado is to change the attitude surrounding reporting, engage bystanders to be a part of the solution, and build a culture and climate of respect.
2) Prevention and Early Intervention
The Safe2Tell Colorado program provides students with the opportunity to seek help, guidance and counseling from a trusted source before a situation grows out of control. Safe2Tell Colorado offers adults education and training in identifying at-risk behaviors in students and creating safe learning environments. Safe2Tell Colorado schools have intervention teams in place to handle interventions triggered from a Safe2Tell Colorado report. That team remains up-to-date with Safe2Tell Colorado training and resources. Incorporating a way for students to anonymously report concerns into a district/school's overall safety plan increases the chances of receiving accurate intel from bystanders who directly witness concerns and threats. Receiving useful information ahead of time allows for that team of adults to intervene early and prevent violence before it happens.
Through collaborative relationships, Safe2Tell Colorado has key roles in developing blueprint models of safety policies and providing wraparound services to students. Safe2Tell Colorado works closely with government agencies, non-profit partners, schools, and law enforcement to provide awareness and education that encourage changes in attitudes and cultures that perpetrate incidences of violence. Safe2Tell Colorado readily shares critical information to law enforcement, mental health agencies and other parties to aid in investigations and interventions.
3) Accountability and Follow-up
When a school receives a Safe2Tell Colorado report, they have pre-identified a team of professionals, i.e. counselors, administrators, and law enforcement, who can assist with intervention and connect students to appropriate resources. This pre-identified, multidisciplinary team is responsible for ensuring Safe2Tell Colorado reports are handled appropriately and that required actions and steps were taken to protect the safety of all involved. By having a team of adults identified, it reduces the liability of one individual to take action but also creates accountability, whereby the team can trust that at least one team member will intervene effectively. Colorado schools maintain yearly, up-to-date contact information for their Interagency Social Support Team members in the Safe2Tell Colorado database, ensuring the proper personnel receive Safe2Tell Colorado reports. Click here to update your Interagency Social Support Team information in the Safe2Tell Colorado database.
With each report received, Safe2Tell Colorado goes the extra step and follows up with the school that received the tip to ensure it was investigated and action was taken. Colorado schools are required disposition report is submitted to Safe2Tell Colorado with every tip report received. Working with teams, following-up on each report, and ensuring appropriate steps have been taken are the crucial pieces that make the Safe2Tell solution successful. Schools fully utilizing the Safe2Tell Colorado model, resources and staff reduce the liability they hold on collecting intel and data on potentially dangerous situations, both in their schools and in their communities.